Patient mobility and medical tourism for the liberation therapy procedure by multiple sclerosis patients: a framing analysis of Canadian newspapers
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Mobility in all of its forms is highly commodified in a globalised system. Much focus on mobility theory has offered a new ‘mobilities turn’. Largely absent from this ‘mobility turn’ is an examination of the relationship between mobility and health. This case study focuses on the Canadian televised and print media attention given to a medically contested procedure: liberation therapy (LT), which emerged as the possible treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). As a non-insured service, Canadian MS patients wanting access to the procedure must travel to other geographical locations in what is termed as medical tourism. A comprehensive media analysis reveals an overwhelming patient mobility in the hopes of positive outcomes mainly from anecdotal stories. Patients’ advocacy for LT intensified and this pressured governments’ to fund clinical trials. This highlights the influence of the media in mobilizing patients and directing resources for research in the Canadian health care system.