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Description Of The Impacts Of Medical Stigma And Its Effects

819 words - 4 pages

Stigma can be defined as a phenomenon that significantly discredits an individual in the eyes of other people as being different and aberrant. The consequences of stigma can significantly affect the way in which individuals perceive themselves; however, the individual's approach of stigmatization accounts for significant differences in the impact of the illness on the self. Furthermore, stigmatization is a process, and it should therefore be defined as the process of dis-evaluation. It is almost always rooted in the system of negative attitudes that normally exist in communities and cultures, and takes place in the context of connecting people with stigmatized behaviors, illnesses, and disabilities. In addition to this, Erving Goffman defines stigma as a label that distinguishes a person, or group of people from others in discrediting way. In most of the cases, stigma actually refers to people who have obvious physical defects, illnesses, or disabilities, and it is affixed by others who notice those defects.
Stigma is a devastating feeling at the individual level because it leads to feelings of shame, guilt, and isolation. Such negative attitudes is caused by omissions or actions of others which is causing even deeper suffering and enhance of the stigmatized group advocating the fact that they are denying certain services such as the right to healthcare or education. Such actions constitute discrimination and leads toward human rights abuses. Discrimination occurs when a particular person because of the actual or perceived membership of a particular group puts in an unequal and disadvantaged position compared to others. Because the stigma is almost always accompanied by discrimination, people with HIV/AIDS are disabled in the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the values of human dignity and equality. In addition to this, in their article AIDS as Human Suffering, Farmer and Kleinman are pointing out the lack of “sympathy” for people suffering from AIDS which have led to violence and discrimination. It is unfortunate that many people in the world see AIDS only as a disease, but forget about the suffering and pain a person afflicted by AIDS can go through. The consequences of stigma not only lead discrimination and violation of human rights of people, but also have a negative influence on the epidemic of the disease, its treatment, and patients individual life, family life, and social life. In order to help themselves, stigmatized groups are often trying to avoid the contact with the “normal people” by having interactions...

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