"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood" according to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this sense, dignity refers to the right of a person to be valued and respected for their own sake and to be treated ethically. In turn, dignity may also be applied to describe personal conduct as in "behaving with dignity". However, it may not be a given. Recently, the Danish Minister of Employment called on his staff to act in a more dignified manner as many people consulting the job services for employment advice reported that they felt treated in an arrogant manner and were not listened to by the staff. Unfortunately, the same can be seen at times in terms of health services.
Dignified health literacy
From a health literacy point of view, dignity means, on one hand, ensuring that the people we serve are treated respectfully and that their opinions matter, while also, on the other hand, ensuring that we as professionals act with dignity. Hence, in a trustworthy manner. When an organization invest in health literacy a culture can be grown which facilitates dignity as common leverage for equity, decency and human-centred care.
As health literacy trailblazer ask yourself: how can I support a dignified approach towards the clients, patients, and citizens that I work with?
"When we achieve human rights and human dignity for all people - they will build a peaceful, sustainable, and just world" - Antonio Guterres