IASP Statement on U.S. Travel Restrictions

Feb 3, 2017

Statement of the Executive Committee of the International Association for the Study of Pain, on behalf of the organization:

Recognizing that scientific progress and medical advances depend on the free exchange of ideas among international networks of diverse health-care professionals and scientists, IASP joins with scientific societies in the United States and worldwide in opposing the recent White House executive order on travel restrictions from certain countries.

For more than 40 years, IASP has convened international meetings of scientists and clinicians who collaborate to advance learning and discover new and better pain treatments. The U.S. travel restrictions place such collaborations at great risk.

Our member scientists and clinicians live on six continents, treating patients suffering in pain throughout the developed and developing world—including those in countries named in the restrictive order. As a direct consequence of the order, IASP members from those countries as well as those who have traveled to them have told us they are unable or reluctant to travel to the United States for fear of harassment or detention at airports. Others have told us they are protesting the travel restrictions by refusing to meet in the United States.

IASP urges a more balanced approach to access to the United States that not only provides for security but also protects important scientific collaborations. We believe the travel restrictions will have a negative effect on the ability of the United States to attract talented researchers, clinicians, and students whose collaborative work advances science and medical care.

Judith A. Turner, PhD, President (USA)
Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Prof., Dr.med., PhD, President-Elect (Denmark)
Rolf-Detlef Treede, Prof., Dr.med., Past-President (Germany)
Michael Nicholas, PhD, Secretary (Australia)
G. Allen Finley, MD, FRCPC, Treasurer (Canada)
Matthew R. D’Uva, FASAE, CAE, Executive Director (USA)