“Heal Thyself.”—An Argument for Granting #Asylum to #HCWs Persecuted During the 2014 West #African #Ebola #Crisis (SMU Law Rev., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

SMU Law Rev. 2018;71(4):1153-79.

“Heal Thyself.”—An Argument for Granting Asylum to Healthcare Workers Persecuted During the 2014 West African Ebola Crisis.

Echols B1.

Author information: 1 Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law. bechols@smu.edu



This article argues for a change in United States asylum policy at a time when change is needed most. Those seeking asylum must prove that they fear persecution in their home country based on one of five protected categories and that their government is the persecutor or is unable to control the actions of the persecutors. Multiple articles have recognized that the “particular social group” is the most difficult category of asylum seeker to analyze. Not only do the standards for particular social groups (PSGs) vary among circuit courts, but judicial consistency is lacking. This article focuses on a particular PSG, healthcare workers from recently Ebola-stricken West Africa. During the 2014 Ebola crisis, these healthcare workers faced discrimination and violence due to their association with western medicine. Hospitals were frequently threatened and ransacked. Multiple accounts of violence against local and international healthcare workers were recorded by Doctors Against Borders, the Centers for Disease Control, and the international media. However, because of the inconsistencies in asylum law and the ever-present political influence in what originates as a humanitarian process, it is unlikely for these PSGs to be found asylum-eligible. This highlights the need for a more consistent and humanitarian-based asylum policy with less political influence.

PMID: 30648831

Keywords: Ebola; Migrants; Society; USA; African Region.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.