Discrimination has many meaning and many different ways people can discriminate against others. Discriminations can be as simple as a person making a judgment against someone else by the way they dress or the way they speak or it can be the people are discriminated against (out casted/left out) because they choose to be different or have a disability or different colour of skin or even religion.
Discrimination is unfair treatment of a person action based on prejudice which someone has of that individual and it can affect the targeted individual physically, this could be self-harm or eating disorders, intellectually, the individual won’t want to go to work because of how they are being treated, emotionally, which could be depression, anxiety, aggression, stress or fear, and finally, it can also affect them socially, because they might isolate themselves from the people around them which could result in the loss of friends and it may make some of their relationships with others strained because they think that everyone they know is going to treat them in the same way.
The types of discrimination are: culture, disability, age, social class, gender, sexuality, health status and cognitive ability.
The first type of discrimination is culture. This can be very important to some individuals because it shows their identity to other people and it is also the way in which they lead their life no matter what country they’re living in. Cultural discrimination means that when an individual from a different background or culture follows their cultures rules strictly; they are disliked by some people because they have a different lifestyle, following and they do not follow the same rules because of how they’ve been raised by their family. It is developed within the social group which they have been raised in; and it can change when they become mature enough to decide for themselves which culture best suited for them. In a profession in Health and Social Care it is important for everyone who is concerned to respect other people’s cultures.
It is important for the individual because it gives them a sense of understanding and support, promotes their well-being and can also help their health. Also it is important to health and social care professionals because they see the benefits of their care value base and it underlines the importance of respecting an individual’s culture. Sometimes people see this as if the individual is receiving special treatment because they are different; which can make them feel angry or strong jealousy and as a result they will make the individual from a different culture feel isolated; which might make any relationships which the individual has strained and it can make them feel like they have no respect from anyone around them because of how they look or behave.
In health and social care a lot of people work with and support people with varying degrees of disabilities. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone who has a disability. The act covers employment, access to goods, facilities and services of organisations, education, buying and renting a property and transportation services.
There has to be full access ability for anyone with a disability. However, people who are part of the same establishment might discriminate against a disabled person in a wheel chair or with a severe disability; by calling them disrespectful names and say that they don’t deserve to be a part of the establishment just because they are disabled in some way; and this can make the disabled person feel depressed and suffer from anxiety problems because if the same thing has been said enough times then they will believe that they don’t deserve an education or have the right to same things which a non-disabled person has the right to.
Age discrimination occurs “when someone is treated unfavourably because of their age, without justification, or is harassed or victimised because of their age”. There have been some controversies regarding the dispensing of certain very expensive drugs to older people because of their shorter life expectancy due to their age. And as a result some people have argued that the money would be better spent on drugs for younger people.
However, this would be denying a drug due to their age and would open the health service to considerable legal risk, and legal advice would be needed before discussions like this could happen. Also, sometimes when there are a lot of elderly people and only a few teenagers waiting to get on a bus and when the bus arrives at their stop the teenagers get onto the bus before the elderly people; the elderly people may decide to talk aggressively to the teenagers just because they are older and they feel that they are more important because they might have a disability.
Social discrimination is the actual behaviour of those who treat others differently depending on their social situation, to pigeon-hole someone socially, such that someone on benefits is treated unfairly compared to that of someone who works for a living. Invariably it’s a dysfunctional psychology re-enforced by peer pressure to gear an individual’s thought processes to fail to take into account or assess another individuals sole circumstances before passing judgement. It is not really seen as a problem by the bearer of the discrimination unless the bearer directly experiences some similar discrimination.
The social class of an individual is apparent from the area in which they live with their family; the higher the social class, the better the place is kept and maintained. This form of inequality has also infiltrated health and social care. In the foreword to a Department of Health education, the former Secretary of State for Health stated that the poor are more likely to get cancer than the rich, and their chances of survival are lower too; this letter carries on to say that health care is essentially a postcode lottery, which means that having access to health care is often determined by where an individual lives. However, in the Equality and Human Rights Commission it states “At the heart of human rights is the belief everybody should be treated equally and with dignity – no matter what their circumstances”.
An individual cannot be discriminated against because of their gender; if they are however it refers to a bias towards one gender. In the vast majority of careers, this bias means that women do not obtain the same opportunities as men for everything from their initial health care education right through to the hiring process and workplace environment. Their career advancement is also smaller and slower in comparison with career advancement for men. On top of that, women and men may perform the same jobs, but women will receive fewer benefits and less pay than men. Under the Gender Equality Duty 2007, all organisations, including health and social care services, cannot discriminate unfairly due to a person’s gender.
Equal rights of access, health care and rights must be adhered to. Sexuality is a very individual thing; although most people are ‘straight’, heterosexual, a significant percentage of the population are gay, bisexual, celibate or asexual. Unfair treatment on the basis of someone’s sexuality – or assumptions about their sexuality – is discrimination and has no place in the sport’s environment. Sexuality discrimination happens when someone is treated unfairly compared with others, because of their sexuality. It can also occur because someone makes assumptions about someone else’s sexuality. Under the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (the Act), it can be unlawful to do this. Under federal legislation, it can also be unlawful.
The Act says it is against the law to treat people unfairly because of their sexuality, whether they are gay, lesbian, heterosexual or bisexual. The law also protects a person who identifies, or has identified, as a member of the opposite sex by living or seeking to live as a member of that sex. The law also protects sex workers working lawfully. Health status discrimination often occurs when an individual is diagnosed with HIV or AIDS. Sources of stigma include fear of illness, fear of contagion, and fear of death. Fear of illness and fear of contagion is a common reaction among health workers, co-workers, and caregivers, as well as the general population. Stigma is one means of coping with the fear that contact with a member of an affected group; by caring for or sharing utensils with a PLHA will result in contracting the disease.
HIV-stigma is often layered on top of many other stigmas associated with such specific groups as homosexuals and commercial sex workers and such behaviours as drug abuse by using needles and casual sex. These behaviours are perceived as controllable and are therefore assigned more blame, receive less sympathy, but instead, more anger and are less likely to receive assistance as opposed to people with AIDS who were infected through circumstances where there was no control, such as receiving a blood transfusion. However, sometimes it can be difficult to make decisions regarding a person’s medical treatment; their expected quality of life after the treatment has been given and their overall life expectancy have to be seriously considered.
And the people who are making these decisions for someone should always keep questioning their own assumptions and prejudices; and also do their best to balance the welfare of individual patients with broader funding considerations. Under section 2 of the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (“FSDO”), family status means the status of a person who has the responsibility for the care of an immediate family member. An immediate family member is a person who is related by blood, marriage, adoption or affinity. However, this can lead to a variety of discriminations against members of the family; they can be against gay or lesbian parents, single parents, parents of different genders, parents of different races with mixed-race children and other family groupings.
It can either direct or indirect discrimination, direct discrimination means that a person is treated unfavorably because of their family status and indirect discrimination means when a condition or requirement, that is not justifiable, is applied to everyone but in practice adversely affects persons who have family status; an example of this would be a company insists that all its employees work overtime and a widower who has responsibility for care of his young children cannot comply with that condition. The company then dismisses him. The complainant feels aggrieved because as a single parent he cannot comply with that condition.
If the company cannot justify why each and every employee must meet that condition, it could be a case of indirect discrimination on the ground of family status. Cognitive disability is defined by some as bellow average intellectual function that adversely affects educational and adaptive performance. There are a broad range of disabilities that fit into this criterion. Cognition is the mental process of understanding and acquiring knowledge through the senses, thought and perception.
A person with a cognitive disability may have difficulty with some or all of the following cognitive areas: memory formation or retrieval; attention span; reading and comprehension; problem solving; and visual input. Discriminating against someone because of their cognitive ability might arise because of a brain injury, a learning disability or difficulty or a person’s social class or education. It can be easy to determinate against people with cognitive disabilities but care must be taken not to do so. Valuing People Now is a government strategy which aims to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and those of their families and carers.