Dissertation, Linköping University (2019)

Authors
Yusuf Yuksekdag
Istanbul Bilgi University
Abstract
This doctoral thesis within applied ethics consists of four articles together with a cover essay. All articles concern the ethics of skilled health worker emigration from under-served and resourcepoor regions, often referred to as ‘medical brain drain’. Methodologically, the thesis utilizes normative ethical theory to analyse the justifiability of temporary or long-term emigration restrictions, such as compulsory health service programmes, that are employed by developing countries with the aim of safeguarding their needs for health care provision. Such programmes restrict the mobility of individual health workers and give rise to conflicts between different types of rights and interests. The ethics of skilled worker emigration warrants an exploration of the ethical implications of such restrictive programmes for different stakeholders, such as the under-served countries and health workers; and a clarification of the rights and duties of the concerned parties. This thesis provides a thorough analysis and clarification of such rights restrictions and offers theoretically and empirically grounded recommendations as to how they ought to be managed. Rights theory and accounts of individual responsibilities are employed to assess the acceptability of restrictive health service programmes. In brief, the thesis (a) discusses the conditions under which individual health workers may have responsibilities to attend to the basic health needs of a population, (b) explicates the rights at stake such as the freedom of movement and the right to exit, (c) offers insight into what it means to restrict one’s right and its implications and (d) suggests ways for conflicting rights and interests to be balanced and resolved. Taken together, the thesis presents a nuanced approach towards individual responsibilities in under-served contexts and an improved understanding of the right to exit as well as the implications of restricting the right. The thesis also contributes to the ethics of skilled worker emigration with a discussion on the responsibilities of skilled workers when the other parties do not fulfil their fair share of responsibilities.
Keywords brain drain  contract  ethics  emigration  non-ideal theory  skilled workers  right to exit  vulnerability  moral responsibility
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