President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries is on hold, following a federal court's ruling barring enforcement of the order.
The medical community had been vocal in its opposition to the order because of the travel restrictions it imposed on foreign-born doctors, medical students and patients seeking care in the U.S..
A three-judge federal appeals court panel on 9 Feb. unanimously voted not to reinstate Trump’s executive order on the temporary travel ban.
appeals court ruled that the Justice Department had not shown that keeping the
president’s controversial travel restrictions on hold would cause “irreparable
The Trump administration is expected to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. Trump's decision to impose the travel ban had an immediate impact on the U.S. healthcare industry. For instance, a Cleveland Clinic medical resident was banned from returning to the U.S. until complicated discussions allowed her return. In another case, an Iranian baby in need of lifesaving heart surgery was temporarily prevented from entering the country. Furthermore, Trump's order also created fears about the impact on foreign medical students vying for training programmes at U.S. hospitals, as well as young doctors in training who are already working there.
The ban even raised worries about pending medical conferences, with leaders of those events issuing strong opposition statements and some physicians and scientists cancelling plans to present their work.
Trump's immigration policy also impacts on the doctor-patient relationship. In an essay in The Washington Post, Dhruv Khullar, MD, a resident physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, recalls that the mother of a 23-year-old cancer patient presented him with her son’s certificate of American citizenship. Why? She feared her son might not be treated or would be turned over to some authority because of his Arabic heritage.
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