When Canadians travel abroad to obtain private, self-funded medical care, they are engaged in medical tourism. Canadians who travel abroad for surgery are often accompanied by friends or family members. These informal caregivers, who I refer to as caregiver-companions, provide essential physical and emotional support to Canadian medical tourists. Centered on interviews with caregiver-companions themselves, this thesis sheds light on their experiences of the emerging medical tourism industry. This thesis consists of three analyses: 1) a methodological analysis that describes how multi-dataset triangulation was used to learn about caregiver-companions, 2) an analysis of caregiver-companions’ narratives using an ethics of care framework and the landscapes of care literature, and 3) an analysis examining the practical resources and supports that might benefit caregiver-companions. Taken together, these three strands of research provide insight into the experiences of Canadian informal caregivers in medical tourism, and the complex, transnational care that they provide.
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Thesis advisor: Crooks, Valorie A.
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