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Screening for infectious diseases of asylum seekers upon arrival: the necessity of the moral principle of reciprocity

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medical Ethics, March 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (83rd percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
1 policy source
3 tweeters
2 Facebook pages


7 Dimensions

Readers on

48 Mendeley
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Screening for infectious diseases of asylum seekers upon arrival: the necessity of the moral principle of reciprocity
Published in
BMC Medical Ethics, March 2018
DOI 10.1186/s12910-018-0256-7
Pubmed ID

Dorien T. Beeres, Darren Cornish, Machiel Vonk, Sofanne J. Ravensbergen, Els L. M. Maeckelberghe, Pieter Boele Van Hensbroek, Ymkje Stienstra


With a large number of forcibly displaced people seeking safety, the EU is facing a challenge in maintaining solidarity. Europe has seen millions of asylum seekers crossing European borders, the largest number of asylum seekers since the second world war. Endemic diseases and often failing health systems in their countries of origin, and arduous conditions during transit, raise questions around how to meet the health needs of this vulnerable population on arrival in terms of screening, vaccination, and access to timely and appropriate statutory health services. This paper explores the potential role of the principle of reciprocity, defined as the disposition 'to return good in proportion to the good we receive, and to make reparations for the harm we have done', as a mid-level principle in infectious disease screening policies. More than half of the European countries implemented screening programmes for newly arrived asylum seekers. Screening may serve to avoid potential infectious disease risks in the receiving countries as well as help identify health needs of asylum seekers. But screening may infringe upon basic rights of those screened, thus creating an ethical dilemma. The use of the principle of reciprocity can contribute to the identification of potential improvements for current screening programmes and emphasizes the importance of certain rights into guidelines for screening. It may create a two way moral obligation, upon asylum seekers to actively participate in the programme, and upon authorities to reciprocate the asylum seekers' participation and the benefits for the control of public health. The authors argue that the reciprocity principle leads to a stronger ethical justification of screening programmes and help achieve a balance between justifiable rights claims of the host population and the asylum seekers. The principle deserves a further and more thorough exploration of its potential use in the field of screening, migration and infectious diseases.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 48 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 48 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 12 25%
Researcher 6 13%
Other 6 13%
Student > Ph. D. Student 5 10%
Librarian 3 6%
Other 9 19%
Unknown 7 15%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 16 33%
Nursing and Health Professions 6 13%
Social Sciences 4 8%
Arts and Humanities 2 4%
Immunology and Microbiology 1 2%
Other 5 10%
Unknown 14 29%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 13. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 01 January 2020.
All research outputs
of 17,367,552 outputs
Outputs from BMC Medical Ethics
of 764 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 284,319 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Medical Ethics
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Altmetric has tracked 17,367,552 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 89th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 764 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 14.6. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 73% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 284,319 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 83% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them