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Discrimination and Diabetes Article Archives

September 2013

Five More Common Diabetes Fears

Fear is a funny thing. In a controlled situation, say a movie theater or roller coaster, it can be exciting. It gets our blood pumping, gets our adrenaline racing. But in the real world, where anything can happen and safety isn't assured, fears can get out of hand.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 5, 2013

June 2013

Global Survey Finds One in Five Feel Discriminated Against Because of Their Diabetes

CHICAGO, June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Key results from the global Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs 2 study (DAWN2TM) show that one in five people with diabetes feel discriminated against because of their condition, and support from the broader community is scarce. Results from the DAWN2 study were presented at the 73rd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA). DAWN2 represents opinions from more than 15,000 people living, or caring for people, with diabetes in 17 countries across four continents.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 26, 2013

May 2011

Sexual Minority: The Invisible Diabetes Disparity

What does sexuality have to do with diabetes? A lot, according to research findings that have revealed a group of people with diabetes as large as the type 1 or gestational diabetes community. Estimates suggest that 1.3 million lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals have diabetes-at least 5 percent of the 23.6 million people with the disease in the United States.

comments 1 comment - Posted May 19, 2011

March 2011

Should States Let Inmates Donate Organs?

If a prisoner on death row wants to donate his organs, should he be allowed to do it?

comments 19 comments - Posted Mar 18, 2011

August 2009

Letters to the Editor : August-September, 2009

Mon Has CGM Concerns

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 1, 2009

June 2009

Court Rules That Texas Cop With Diabetes was Discriminated Against

In May, 2009, a jury in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia found that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) discriminated against Jeff Kapche when it refused to hire him as a Special Agent because of his diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 26, 2009

December 2008

Mr. Universe Assaulted by Police During Low Blood Sugar Episode
Mr. Universe Assaulted by Police During Low Blood Sugar Episode

Diabetes Health magazine recently had the pleasure of interviewing Doug Burns for a lengthy feature.  He is a well-spoken and forthcoming man with a good sense of humor and an easy-going manner. Altogether, he comes across as a very nice person. On Sunday, however, Doug Burns was severely beaten by police during an episode of low blood sugar that occurred at a movie theater in Redwood City, California.

comments 60 comments - Posted Dec 17, 2008

Avoid Losing Thousands in Denied Health Insurance Claims: Here’s How
Avoid Losing Thousands in Denied Health Insurance Claims: Here’s How

It should have been a slam-dunk. My wife underwent two back-to-back surgeries to treat an eye melanoma. Through the surgeon, she had obtained written permission from our health insurance company to use his services and those of the hospital where he operated. Neither was in our specific insurance plan--in health insurance vernacular, they were out-of-network--which explains why the pre-approval was mandated.

comments 1 comment - Posted Dec 15, 2008

Havasupais, Told Their Blood Was for a Diabetes Study, Sue Over Improper Use, Including Undermining Their Religion
Havasupais, Told Their Blood Was for a Diabetes Study, Sue Over Improper Use, Including Undermining Their Religion

Here's an interesting case that shows how diabetes research can intrude into other realms of life: The Arizona Court of Appeals has cleared the way for the Havasupai Tribe to sue the state university system for improper use of blood samples that the tribe gave researchers in 1989 to help with a diabetes study.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 8, 2008

September 2008

Scrawny Boy With Type 1 Diabetes Becomes Mr. Universe
Scrawny Boy With Type 1 Diabetes Becomes Mr. Universe

These days, Doug Burns is a modern Sampson. The reigning Mr. Universe, he’s two hundred pounds of sheer muscle and the picture of good health. Of the skinny little boy with type 1 who used to work out in the woods alone, all that remains are a wry sense of humor and an attractively self-deprecating manner. They’re unexpected in a man who’s triumphed in the uber-masculine world of bodybuilding, but there’s a lot that’s unexpected about Doug Burns.

comments 31 comments - Posted Sep 22, 2008

March 2008

The Two Faces of Diabetes
The Two Faces of Diabetes

The table was set for Thanksgiving and all the family was there. Joey, the baby, was the center of attention. This would be the second Thanksgiving he had witnessed in his relatively short life. Somebody remarked that he looked thin, but Sandra, Joey's mother, thought that it was just a sign of growth. As the turkey and mashed potatoes were served, the family turned its attention away from the cooing baby to ladling piles of food onto plates. Joey didn't eat much that night, but kept asking for more to drink.

comments 20 comments - Posted Mar 13, 2008

November 2007

People Would Rather Tell You Your Spouse is Cheating Than Discuss Your Diabetes

In a recent survey of over 1000 adults, 82 percent knew someone with a chronic illness. Only 34 percent, however, were willing to offer advice to their chronically ill friend about handling their self-care.

comments 3 comments - Posted Nov 1, 2007

June 2007

Men With Heart Disease and Diabetes Get Better Care Than Women
Men With Heart Disease and Diabetes Get Better Care Than Women

A study just published by the RAND Corporation, a well-known think tank, has found that routine care received by women for their heart disease and diabetes isn't as good as that received by men.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 6, 2007

New Massachusetts Police Can't Use an Insulin Pump

A 22-year-old who's planning to graduate from college this spring with a degree in criminal justice has run up against a Massachusetts state law that bars anyone who wears an insulin pump from being hired as a full-time police officer.

comments 1 comment - Posted Jun 4, 2007

May 2007

Charges Against Bodybuilder Doug Burns Dropped
Charges Against Bodybuilder Doug Burns Dropped

On May 30, 2007, prosecutors dropped the assault charges against Doug Burns, the champion bodybuilder whom we profiled extensively last month. The decision to dismiss the case and not go to trial was based upon evidence from an endocrinologist that Doug was in diabetic shock at the time of the incident and therefore had a viable defense of unconsciousness.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 31, 2007

Update On Mr. Universe: Doug Burns Arraigned in Court
Update On Mr. Universe: Doug Burns Arraigned in Court

Doug Burns, reigning Mr. Universe, was recently involved in an encounter with Redwood City police while experiencing severe low blood sugar; during the incident, he was handcuffed and clubbed by police who mistook him for inebriated. On May 2, 2007, Doug was arraigned in court on charges of assault and resisting arrest.

comments 1 comment - Posted May 10, 2007

April 2007

Mr. Universe's Police Run-In Becomes a Force for Education
Mr. Universe's Police Run-In Becomes a Force for Education

The story of Doug Burns’ arrest during a low blood sugar episode has generated a lot of comments from the diabetes community. How did it happen, why did it happen, and how could it have been handled differently?

comments 1 comment - Posted Apr 19, 2007

June 2006

What Value Do You Place on Your Privacy?
What Value Do You Place on Your Privacy?

If you live in New York City and have diabetes, your right to privacy is gone. A mandatory registry of all diabetics is in effect.

comments 1 comment - Posted Jun 1, 2006

December 2005

We Can Work It Out
We Can Work It Out

Could it be that when it comes to diabetes and the workplace, honesty isn’t always the best policy?

comments 2 comments - Posted Dec 1, 2005

September 2005

Diabetes and Discrimination
Diabetes and Discrimination

Recently, I had a phone call from a friend seeking advice on whether or not to hire a nanny who has diabetes. I was shocked.

comments 3 comments - Posted Sep 1, 2005

August 2005

Debunking Myths About Diabetes
Debunking Myths About Diabetes

Remember Zeus, Athena and Medusa? The mythological stories we learned as schoolchildren entertained and thrilled us, but we knew from the start that they were pure fantasy. Diabetes myths, however, are believed by many and can lead to inappropriate treatment choices and behaviors.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 1, 2005

March 2005

2005 Priorities for Diabetes: The U.S. Congress is Back in Session
2005 Priorities for Diabetes: The U.S. Congress is Back in Session

The U.S. Congress is back in session and hopes are high for diabetes victories.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2005

March 2004

Federal Appeals Court Rules That Eating Is a Major Life Activity

A September 2003 decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Oregon determined that eating is a “major life activity,” for the purpose of establishing a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2004

February 2004

Health Professionals Show Weight Bias

Healthcare professionals have a general bias against overweight people, Yale University researchers have discovered.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2004

November 2003

Did You Set Up a 504 Plan With Your Child's School? 25% of Parents Polled Don't Know What a 504 Is

If your child has diabetes, have you worked with school staff to set up a 504 plan to accommodate your child’s special needs?

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 2003

July 2003

Protect Your Child at School

In 1999, Crystal Jackson feared for the life of her daughter, Devin, who has type 1 diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 1, 2003

February 2003

Getting Paid!

A federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee returned a verdict in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a man who was fired for having type 1 diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2003

October 2002

Are People With Diabetes Treated Like Criminals?

Telling the world you have diabetes is not the easiest proposition. Coming "out of the closet," so to speak, could bring support or condemnation from others.

comments 2 comments - Posted Oct 1, 2002

A Tough Break

A former Wal-Mart pharmacist with diabetes who closed the store's pharmacy in Chadron, Nebraska, while he ate lunch is not covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed in a July 2002 ruling.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 2002

September 2002

Stopping the Diabetes Police

Many of us with diabetes run numbers in our heads all day. We balance carb counts, insulin units, exercise and increments of time as if we were computers, sometimes making extraordinary calculations to safely incorporate 35 CHO of birthday cake into an afternoon.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 2002

June 2002

Concert Promoter Sued for Discrimination Against People With Diabetes

The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against concert promoter SFX Entertainment, Inc., for its policy that prohibits insulin users from bringing their diabetes supplies into concerts. Filed with the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, the lawsuit claims that the policy violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 2002

Case of Mistaken Identity

The West Boca Raton, Florida, school district has decided not to reprimand an assistant principal accused of harassing a student who was wearing an insulin pump, according to an April 24 South Florida Sun-Sentinel article.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 2002

Concert Promoter Sued for Discrimination Against People With Diabetes

The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against concert promoter SFX Entertainment, Inc., for its policy that prohibits insulin users from bringing their diabetes supplies into concerts. Filed with the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, the lawsuit claims that the policy violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 2002

October 2001

Officers of the Law Ignore Special Needs of People With Diabetes -Mistreatment In Police Custody Prompts Lawsuit and FBI Investigation

"I am currently incarcerated at a medium-security prison," writes James Mackenzie, in a letter to Diabetes Health from a jail in Shirley, Massachusetts. "I am 38 years old and suffer from diabetes and severe pain in my spine. The medical staff has tried to reduce my blood sugars—which range from 140 to 427 mg/dl. The problem is that it brings my readings into the hypoglycemia range of 50 to 72 mg/dl. This happens even with the lowest dosages.

comments 2 comments - Posted Oct 1, 2001

September 2000

People With Diabetes Mistreated, Philadelphia Police Withhold Medicine and Food

On June 27, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) joined as plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit charging the City of Philadelphia with denying people with diabetes proper medical treatment while in police custody.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 2000

September 1999

Supreme Court Limits Rights of People with Diabetes

People with diabetes who sue their employers for discrimination based on their disease may now have a more difficult time in court.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 1999

November 1998

Diabetes Discrimination—Protect Yourself, Learn the Facts

Living with diabetes increases the likelihood of experiencing on-the-job discrimination. Since 1992 more than 2,000 people filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) specifically stating they were mistreated at work as a result of their having diabetes. Another 6,500 complaints cite visual ailments and problems with extremities-medical concerns frequently associated with diabetes-as underlying reasons for job discrimination.

comments 8 comments - Posted Nov 1, 1998

Human Rights for PWD

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will sponsor World Diabetes Day on November 14, which is the birthday of Frederick Banting, a leader in the discovery of insulin.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 1998

April 1998

New Ruling Protects Type 1s from Discrimination

In a decisive victory for people with diabetes, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that those who take insulin are protected from discrimination by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 1, 1998

November 1996

Tips for Victims of Job Bias

Workers who believe they have been harmed by illegal discrimination may sue current and former employers. If victimized by illegal job bias, here are some strategies which can protect your rights and enhance the strength of your claim:

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 1996

February 1996

How To Get The Care You Need

Getting the services you need from an HMO often takes more than just a simple phone call. Convincing an HMO that you need a physician who understands diabetes care and that you need to be provided with up-to-date diabetes therapies, treatments, supplies, and equipment can be quite a daunting prospect. But it is possible, and it may be more straightforward than you think.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 1996

May 1995

FAA Policy Challenged - ADA Says 'Let Us Fly!'

A long-standing policy of denying a pilot's license to any person with insulin-treated diabetes is being contested by people who feel that this is in direct contradiction of American Diabetes Association recommendations.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 1, 1995

February 1994

Trial Reversal of Type 1 Driving Restrictions

Current Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations prohibit all individuals with insulin dependent diabetes from obtaining a commercial drivers license. In a recent reversal of this policy, the FHWA has decided to begin a trial period for waiving the restriction based on a case-by-case medical evaluation process using criteria suggested by the American Diabetes Association. Drivers deemed eligible will be monitored for a three year period.

comments 1 comment - Posted Feb 1, 1994

Diabetes and Discrimination:

Diabetes is commonly misunderstood as a debilitating condition that may prohibit us from being able to work, exercise, travel, or live full, productive lives. This kind of misinformation is often the source of wrongful discrimination.

comments 2 comments - Posted Feb 1, 1994

August 1993

Job Discrimination For IDDM

A survey of 108 people with insulin-dependent diabetes reveals that 35 percent of those polled have experienced some form of job discrimination, including not being hired (18 percent), not receiving promotions (11 percent), and losing a job (17 percent). In addition, the study also attempted to assess the degree of job accomodation available to individuals with diabetes in order for them to adequately care for themselves. While the majority reported adequate worksite accomodations such as a convenient place to test their blood glucose levels and inject insulin, and adequate space to store their suplies, over half reported frequently delayed meals, and 26 percent said that they never test themselves at work.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 1, 1993

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