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February 1986

Organized Medicine and the Border

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Arizona Health Sciences Center University of Arizona 1501 N Campbell Tucson, AZ 85724

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(2):88. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140160006001

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Sir.—One would think that professional medicine is enough of an activity without the need to be concerned about the trials of foreign countries and the tribulations of migration: that border problems are for politicians and sociologists; that if foreigners are poor, it is their problem ("let them eat cake"); that the diseases they have are their problem; that to avoid bankruptcy we need to prevent them from using our hospitals; and that the role of physicians is to educate people about the perils of traveling "on the other side."

Over the past several years, I have collected observations like these. I wonder to what extent these are expressions of a cultural process that shows the ugly head of xenophobia and alienation from the rest of the world (the world of the poor).

Poverty of nations and their borders with wealthy neighbors are not acts of nature, but of man.

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