Asylum medicine, a field encompassing medical forensic evaluations of asylum seekers, is an emerging discipline in healthcare. In a time of record global displacement due to human rights violations, conflict and persecution, interest in the medical and psychological evaluation of individuals subjected to torture and other ill-treatment is high. Health professionals are uniquely qualified to use their skills to make contributions to a group of vulnerable individuals fleeing danger and death in their home countries.
Health professionals involved in asylum medicine perform medical and psychological forensic evaluations of asylum seekers. Their educational background prepares them to examine and describe physical and emotional scars related to trauma, and further training allows them to assess these scars in the context of persecution, describe them in a medical-legal affidavit and support these findings with testimony. Providers of asylum medicine are often involved in advocacy, as many governments become increasingly hostile to asylum seekers.
Books on human rights exist, but there is no authoritative text of asylum medicine. This book presents a comprehensive overview of asylum medicine, with emphasis on the historical and legal background of asylum law, best practices for performing asylum examinations, challenges of examining detained asylum seekers, education of trainees and advocacy. Written by experts in the field, Asylum Medicine: A Clinician’s Guide is a first of its kind resource for health care providers who practice asylum medicine.