Tag Archives: people with diabetes rights

What Makes A Bad Diabetic?



“What makes a bad diabetic?” was a search term that someone entered in order to land on this website.  When I saw it, several questions popped up in my mind.  First, who asked that question?  Was it a person with diabetes?  Or even worse, was it a healthcare professional?  Was it a diabetic’s loved one or acquaintance?

I’d like to answer this question today.  Of course, it’s my opinion, but it’s also my blog, so here goes:

What makes a bad diabetic?  Bad is one of those ambiguous and overly used and general words that doesn’t do well to describe anything anymore.  But, I know that being termed a “bad diabetic” is a negative and unwanted thing.  Society thinks of a “bad person” as someone who makes decisions that impact themselves or others negatively based on negative intentions.  Because someone who makes decisions that impact themselves or others negatively while having positive intentions would be all of us at some point or other.  And I think that’s called being human.

So how can there even exist a bad diabetic?  How is it possible?  What about someone who has all the intention in the world to purposefully hurt themselves or others?  I would call that crazy.  I mean literally, this type of person is not well.  They are sick, mentally sick.  Because no on wants to have high blood sugars and feel ill and die young.  No one who is well in their mind.

I hope medical personnel never refer to a person as a bad diabetic (I’m sure some do though).  It’s a very ignorant thing to do.  I mean, we might as well assume we’re all bad then because we all sometimes make decisions that hurt us and others.  Who’s exempt?  I hear crickets…

So to the soul who typed in “what makes a bad diabetic?” into their search engine, if you have diabetes please know that if you think you may be a “bad diabetic” I believe that you are just struggling  and in need of support, information, and hope.  Seek help.  If a medical practitioner asked the question, I hope I’ve answered it for you and helped you think a bit differently about it.  And if a loved one or acquaintance of a diabetic asked the question, please support this person and not judge them.  It’s one thing to tell someone you notice they aren’t taking care of themselves and to offer them help and it’s another to say they are “bad”.

There is no such thing as a “bad diabetic”.

International Diabetes Federation Charter



The international Diabetes Federation has put out a Charter which outlines the fundamental rights of all the world’s people with diabetes.  The IDF’s mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention, and a cure, worldwide.

The press release states:

“The landmark document places the rights of people with diabetes, their parents and carers into three focus areas; the rights to care; information and education and social justice, whilst at the same time acknowledging the responsibilities held by people with diabetes.”

This is a pretty uniting document if you think about it.  There are over 300 million people living with diabetes worldwide and this Charter seeks to represent them all by stating what their basic rights are with this disease.  No matter where you live, you do deserve all of the things stated in this document.

Such as the right to:

“early diagnosis and affordable and equitable access to care and treatment, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender and age, including access to psychosocial care and support.”

“advocate, individually and collectively, to health providers and decision makers for improvements in diabetes care and services.”

information and education about diabetes, including how it can be prevented, how early detection in high risk individuals is an advantage, how the disease can be managed effectively and how to access education and clinical resources.”

“be a fully engaged member of society, treated with respect and dignity by all, without feeling the need to conceal the fact they have diabetes.”

They also outline a number of responsibilities held by people with diabetes, such as the responsibility to:

“manage their agreed care and treatment plan”

“show consideration and respect for the rights of other people with diabetes and their healthcare providers.”

The only problem I see is one of the responsibilities is this guideline.  It states that people with diabetes have the responsibility to:

“inform family, school, work and social colleagues they have diabetes so that they can be supportive to the person with diabetes, if and when needed”

That’s only going to happen when people feel safe to do so.  And we will never get to the point where absolutely everyone feels safe to do so.  Not to mention there are strong personal preferences with this sort of thing.  I do believe in being open about diabetes however, I do believe in a person being able to conceal it if it’s what they want. 

These guidelines are considered a “gold standard” meaning, I think, that they are guidelines to aspire to and although we may not reach them, we might get close.  The closer we are to all people being treated properly with diabetes, the healthier we’ll all be.

Those are just a few of the guidelines stated in the Charter and the IDF is asking for all governments worldwide to sign up for and aspire to these guidelines.  According to the IDF, you and I- and anyone else can encourage politicians, educational organizations, employers, and health care professionals to sign it. 

If you are interested in reading the Charter, which by the way is very easy and fast to read, go here and then scroll to the bottom of the page where you can download the pdf of the Charter or read more info.

Overall I thought it concisely covered just about everything.  Check it out and let us know what you think.