‘They treat you like an it’: people with intellectual disability on seeing medical professionals

Sat, 18 Nov 2023 05:43:01 +1100

Andrew Pam <xanni [at] glasswings.com.au>

Andrew Pam

They don’t treat you like a person. They treat you like an ‘it’.

"This was how Richard*, who has an intellectual disability, described his
general experiences with medical professionals.

He was among 18 adults with intellectual disability and eight support people we
spoke to for a study on how people with intellectual disability have
experienced medical care. We were especially interested in experiences with
genetic health care (where, for example, a person may get genetic testing to
learn more about their disability).

This work, part of a broader body of research on intellectual disability and
medical care, has revealed an urgent need to shift the deeply entrenched
assumptions many health-care workers often hold about patients with
intellectual disability.

Our research suggests health professionals need training to deliver more
inclusive, person-centred and respectful health care."

       *** Xanni ***
mailto:xanni@xanadu.net               Andrew Pam
http://xanadu.com.au/                 Chief Scientist, Xanadu
https://glasswings.com.au/            Partner, Glass Wings
https://sericyb.com.au/               Manager, Serious Cybernetics

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