Living with diabetes

The DAWN study showed us that people with diabetes depend on support from many sides to live a full, healthy and productive life with diabetes such as:
  • Medical care and treatment: Access to quality diagnosis, treatment, care and information
  • Work/School: Obtaining support for, and understanding of, my condition
  • Living: Having the same opportunities to enjoy life as everybody else
  • Society: A healthcare system, government and public willing to listen, and to change, to be supportive of my condition
Rights and responsibilities of people with diabetes

Truly effective patient-centred care for diabetes is only possible through long-standing partnerships between people with diabetes and their healthcare providers, as well as the involvement of health policy makers, researchers and industry – all have a role to play. People with diabetes can contribute a great deal to partnerships for better care, and contribute to reducing the disease burden on themselves and society in general. Well organised, effective care and treatment is the right of all people with diabetes. Equally, people with diabetes have the right to full and adequate information and education about diabetes so they can make the best use of it, and take responsibility for self-management to the best of their ability. And importantly, people with diabetes should have freedom from discrimination, stigma, prejudices and reduced opportunities in society.

The International Charter

That is why the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has developed its International Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for People with Diabetes2. People with diabetes should share the same human and social rights as people who do not have diabetes. The Charter is needed, to set a gold standard of principles on their fundamental rights. It aims:

  • to optimise the health and quality of life of people with diabetes
  • to enable the person with diabetes to have as normal a life as possible
  • to reduce or eliminate barriers preventing the person with diabetes from realising his/her full potential as a member of society.
In return for these rights …

But together with those rights for people with diabetes come responsibilities – to keep their healthcare providers fully informed on their state of health, medication and lifestyle behaviour, to manage their agreed treatment plan, and to implement and monitor a healthy lifestyle as part of that self-management. Any problems in maintaining the treatment should be shared with their healthcare providers, and that includes psychosocial barriers. And family, school, work and social colleagues should be told they have diabetes, so they can be supportive when and if they are needed.

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