Receiving Health Care Services as an Afghan in Iran: Reflections on exploratory Fieldwork into the Ethics of Care

Upcoming Events Login

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 201410:00AM - 12:00PM108N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Place
M5S 3K7
+ Register for this Event Print this Event Bookmark this Event


CPHS Seminar Series


In this talk I will explore social relations shaping how Afghans currently access and receive health care services in Iran. The entry point and problematic for this inquiry are empirical reports of differential treatment of ‘Iranian Afghans’ in health care settings. Geopolitical, social, bureaucratic and health service considerations are explored in this talk that reflects on findings from exploratory fieldwork conducted in Tehran and Qom in August 2014. The aim of this fieldwork was to develop understandings of and insights into contexts and conditions of health care for Afghans in Iran. An ‘ethics of care’ from feminist ethics provides the analytic lens for this work. This approach privileges characteristics such as caring, responsibilities, and relationships over principles of justice and rights; making visible how ruling relations and everyday living conditions shape and are shaped by specific contexts. Explicit engagement with ethics has not, to date, organized applied or theoretical work relating to Iranian Afghans. Through this talk, I explore how an ethics of care might inform work to support transformations in how Afghans experience health care services in Iran.

Laura Bisaillon is Assistant Professor in Health Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Her graduate cross-appointment is at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She earned a PhD in Population Health (Ottawa), a Master’s in Urban Planning (McGill) and a BA in Political Studies (Bishop’s). Laura is an interdisciplinary social scientist interested in issues of migration, equity, socio-legal studies, and social and health policy. Through her research, she investigates social problems at the intersections of immigration, policy, the law, ethics, and HIV/AIDS. Laura holds funding for and carries out research in Ethiopia and Iran. Laura has developed courses including the social determinants of health, migration and public health, and critical qualitative health research methods. She sits on the editorial board of Refuge and the board of directors of the HIV and AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario. Laura is fluent in English and French. Her academic website is


Olga Kesarchuk


Donna Gabaccia
Professor, Department of Historical and Cultural Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough

Razieh Rezazadeh
Associate Professor, Iran University of Science and Technology

Laura Bisaillon
CPHS Senior Academic Fellow; Assistant Professor in Health Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough

If you are attending a Munk School event and require accommodation(s), please email the event contact listed above to make appropriate arrangements.

Disclaimer: Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at or 416-946-8900.

Newsletter Signup Sign up for the Munk School Newsletter

× Strict NO SPAM policy. We value your privacy, and will never share your contact info.