Essay On Stigma

1299 Words 6 Pages
The definition of stigma has a multitude of variation, however, one prominent description highlights that it's 'a characteristic of persons that is contrary to the norm of a social unit' [1]. Within the general population, there's a large proportion of people who view disability with such stigma, demonstrated in a recent survey where 38% of people believed that disabled people are a burden on society [2]. Whilst stigma reflects simply the beliefs of an individual, discrimination is the physical manifestations of these beliefs which causes an alteration in the actions towards a group of people due to a stigma [3]. This is felt regularly by people with disability as 65% of able-bodied people admit they avoid disabled people because
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However, although they make up a significant portion of the population they still face stigma over their disability on all 3 levels of the PCS model ; Personal (stigma in relation to a singular persons beliefs regarding a certain group of people), Cultural (stigma which is derived from general belief or social norms within a population ) and Structural (Stigma determined through public policy ) [5]. Stigma can manifest itself into 6 main types of discrimination; Direct, indirect, failure to make reasonable adjustment, harassment, victimisation and lawful [6]. Direct discrimination is experienced by disabled people regularly with 35% of disabled people saying that people had talked to them in a patronizing way due to their disability [7]. Whilst discrimination in the form of victimisation, in this case being physically attacked, is low at only 4% of the disabled population experiencing this, harassment discrimination is much higher at 17% of people being called names and 16% having experienced aggressive action towards them [7]. This shows the high level of both aggressive and non-aggressive discrimination within the population and it follows that some of this stigma will likely be present within the healthcare profession and therefore affect the healthcare received by this community. One way in which structural stigma is felt within the disabled community is by the QALY system regarding healthcare

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