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Why Restrictions on the Immigration of Health Workers Are Unjust

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  • Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared

Abstract

Some bioethicists and political philosophers argue that rich states should restrict the immigration of health workers from poor countries in order to prevent harm to people in these countries. In this essay, I argue that restrictions on the immigration of health workers are unjust, even if this immigration results in bad health outcomes for people in poor countries. I contend that negative duties to refrain from interfering with the occupational liberties of health workers outweighs rich states' positive duties to prevent harm to people in sending countries. Furthermore, I defend this claim against the objection that health workers in poor countries acquire special duties to their compatriots that render them liable to coercive interference.

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