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Old 09-25-2015, 06:03 PM
Northstar Northstar is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Default Harsh words for doctors treating birth tourists

A noted medical ethicist has harsh words for local doctors who are treating so-called "birth tourists."

"I think it's clearly unethical," said Dr. Arthur Caplan. "It's not something we support so doctors, hospitals (and) nurses should have nothing to do with this."

Dr Caplan, an often quoted Professor of Medical Ethics at New York University, commented following a KING 5 investigation into a profitable birth tourism company that was recently uncovered in the suburbs east of Seattle.

Fu Hua Enterprises operated two multi-million dollar "maternity houses" in a Newcastle neighborhood. The company charged wealthy Chinese families a minimum of $45,000 for a three months stay. It helped make travel arrangements, provided luxurious lodging and arranged medical care here in the Northwest at hospitals like Overlake in Bellevue.

The Fu Hua website sold Chinese clients on the medical care they can receive at Overlake.

A former employee told the KING 5 Investigators that the women were coached to lie about their pregnancies to gain admission to the US. But he said once the women were on American soil, they were truthful with their doctors about the scheme to have a child delivered in the US.

"It's against our professional ethics to condone practices that are basically illegal," said Dr. Caplan.

Caplan says medical professionals have a duty to report immigration fraud, just as they would report a gunshot wound or suspicions of child abuse to the authorities.

The women typically travel to the US on tourism visas, and conceal their "baby bumps" with heavy clothes.

An Overlake hospital spokesperson did not respond to requests for an on-camera interview.

In a statement, Overlake officials said "We were not aware of this website. As medical professionals, we do not take inventory of how or why a pregnant patient has come to us."

The former Fu Hua employee told the KING 5 Investigators that clients always paid their full bill with cash or credit card before they returned with their baby to China.

Dr. Caplan said they may be one reason the doctors didn't ask many questions of their foreign patients.

"If you're paying cash and the care is fairly lucrative in terms of making money, you might not be so eager to ask questions," Caplan said.

http://www.king5.com/story/news/loca...ists/72835104/
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