July 9, 2009

Lupus Disease

After that question about Hepatitis B and Canada Immigration, another reader sent me an email asking about Lupus Disease. The question was, is Lupus Disease a ground for medical inadmissibility?

What is a Lupus Disease?

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues ("auto" means "self") and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.[Source]

There are four types of lupus disease namely, Systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE, Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), subacute cutaneous lupus (SCLE), Neonatal lupus and Drug-induced lupus.

Systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE is the most common and serious form of lupus and here are some facts about SLE from Lupus Canada:
* Lupus can be a serious disease but it is quite clear that milder forms of the disease do exist and are being increasingly recognized.

* Lupus is treatable and much can be done to control it. In fact, with proper treatment it is the rule, not the exception, for physicians (and patients) to succeed in bringing lupus under control.

* Many patients undergo cycles in which the disease becomes quiet afterr it is brought under control. This symptom-free period is called remission and may last several years.

* Better methods of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up have improved the life expectancy of lupus patients so that nowadays lupus is seldom seen to be fatal.

We don't have a client with a lupus disease that I can speak of, but based on the information I've gathered about lupus disease, it looks like lupus disease, per se, is not a ground for medical inadmissibility.

By the way, Micheal Jackson's death was reported to have been caused by a lupus disease and in case you haven't seen it yet, here's Michael Jackson's Memorial Service Full Video.