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Medical tourism: concepts, ethics, and practices

Edited by Tulsi Patel and Silke Schicktanz

Increasingly consumers are responding to today's economic constraints and global healthcare market by travelling outside of their domestic country to seek alternative options for expensive medical procedures. The availability of apparently reliable medical care in Asia, offered at a fraction of the cost incurred in Western countries has created some lucrative business opportunities. The phenomenon of seeking out healthcare through international travel, known as 'medical tourism', incurs a host of potential moral, ethical, economic and legal benefits, questions, risks and problems.

This cross-journal thematic series explores 'medical tourism' from an interdisciplinary perspective. Articles are included from BMC Public Health, BMC Health Services Research, Globalization and Health and Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine.

The Editors declare that they have no competing interests.

Collection published: 20 August 2013
Last updated: 6 May 2014

  1. Medical tourists, persons that travel across international borders with the intention to access non-emergency medical care, may not be adequately informed of safety and ethical concerns related to the practice...

    Authors: Krystyna Adams, Jeremy Snyder, Valorie A Crooks and Rory Johnston
    Citation: Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2013 8:19
  2. The socio-ethical concerns regarding exploitation in commercial surrogacy are premised on asymmetric vulnerability and the commercialization of women’s reproductive capacity to suit individualistic motives. In...

    Authors: Sheela Saravanan
    Citation: Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2013 8:10
  3. Infertile couples that travel to another country for reproductive treatment do not refer to themselves as “reproductive tourists”. They might even be offended by this term. “Tourism” is a metaphor with hidden ...

    Authors: Sharon Bassan and Merle A Michaelsen
    Citation: Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2013 8:9
  4. Medical tourism is a growing phenomenon with policy implications for health systems, particularly of destination countries. Private actors and governments in Southeast Asia are promoting the medical tourist in...

    Authors: Nicola S Pocock and Kai Hong Phua
    Citation: Globalization and Health 2011 7:12
  5. Globalisation has prompted countries to evaluate their position on trade in health services. However, this is often done from a multi-lateral, rather than a regional or bi-lateral perspective. In a previous re...

    Authors: Melisa Martínez Álvarez, Rupa Chanda and Richard D Smith
    Citation: Globalization and Health 2011 7:11
  6. Medical tourism is a global health practice where patients travel abroad to receive health care. Voluntourism is a practice where physicians travel abroad to deliver health care. Both of these practices often ...

    Authors: Jeremy Snyder, Shafik Dharamsi and Valorie A Crooks
    Citation: Globalization and Health 2011 7:6