Doctors critical age testing of asylum seekers

doctor absence rule medical associationDoctor writing out prescription. Photo

The Doctors Association does not want Norwegian doctors to contribute to age tests of asylum seekers who say they are under 18 years. But Health Minister Bent Høie told TV 2 that doctors can not refuse.

Neither the doctors Council on Ethics or the Norwegian Medical Association want the doctors to do tests.
– Preliminary informations shows so much uncertainty in these tests that taking a decision based on this has a great significance for these young people, we will not recommend doctors to do, says president Marit Hermansen in the Norwegian Medical Association, to TV 2.
When asylum seekers who come to Norway are not necessarily believed to be the age they say, they can have their age tested.
The survey is voluntary, but the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) says that if anyone refuses, it could have implications for the assessment of their asylum application.
Four out of ten over 20 years
In 2015 and 2016 came 5,800 unaccompanied asylum seekers to Norway who reported that they were minors. Of them, 3300 have been through a complete medical age assessment. The rest were considered to be real minors without trial.
Of the 1,700 who were investigated from January to October last year 40 percent were stipulated to be 20 years or older.
Since UDI enter a security margin of two years, these were considered to be at least 18 years. Applicants who receive age considered to 19 years, will therefore be treated as 17-year-olds. Nine out of ten asylum seekers that are treated as minors are agreed to stay in Norway.
– Many years of experience from Norway and other countries, shows that some asylum seekers who are actually adults, provide a lower age, says UDI chief Frode Forfang on his blog.
One of the reasons why Norway resumed age surveys in the mid-2000s were reactions that adults living with children in receipt intended for minors, according Forfang.
The medical age assessment is one of several factors when age is determined.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today