Ethical considerations about reporting research results with potential for further stigmatization of undocumented immigrants

Jacqueline M. Achkar, Ruth Macklin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

12 Scopus citations


A broad spectrum of infectious diseases is studied in vulnerable populations. However, ethical considerations of reporting research results that could increase stigmatization of socially marginalized and vulnerable populations are not often discussed in the medical literature, particularly not in the context of transmissible diseases. This article addresses ethical considerations that arose when one of us (J.M.A.) recently published the results of a study in Clinical Infectious Diseases that imply that undocumented persons are more likely to transmit tuberculosis than are documented foreign-born persons or persons born in the United States. These study results have the potential to further fuel the often fierce debate regarding undocumented immigrants in the United States. To our knowledge, such ethical considerations have not been discussed previously in the medical literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1250-1253
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this