Autism Advocacy Network

Autism: Identity & Dignity as a Right

It is widely accepted that all people are entitled to dignity. This basic right is enshrined in various international human rights documents and is considered a cornerstone of humanity. However, there are groups of people who are often treated without dignity or who have their dignity violated on a regular basis. One of these groups is people with autism.

Autism is a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to interact and communicate with others. People with autism often have difficulty understanding social cues and can be seen as aloof or uninterested in others. This can lead to them being isolated and excluded from social interactions. In some cases, people with autism may be subjected to abuse or mistreatment, as they are considered “different” or “weird”.

It is important to remember that people with autism are just like everyone else and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. They have the same rights as everyone else and should not be subjected to discrimination or abuse. All people with autism should be able to live in a safe and supportive environment where their dignity is respected.

Pathologizing Autism

Pathologizing autism is a controversial topic. Some people argue that it is a mental disorder that needs to be treated, while others believe that autism is a difference that should be respected.

Those who pathologize autism argue that it is a mental disorder that causes significant social and communication impairments. They believe that autism needs to be treated so that people with the condition can lead normal, productive lives.

Those who oppose pathologizing autism argue that it is a difference, not a disorder. They believe that autism should be respected and that people with the condition should be provided with the support they need to live happy and fulfilling lives.

Medical Ethics

Medical ethics is the study of the ethical principles that govern the practice of medicine. These principles include the duty to do no harm, the duty to respect patient autonomy, the duty to beneficence, and the duty to justice.

The duty to do no harm is the most basic principle of medical ethics. It requires physicians to always act in the best interests of their patients and to do no harm. This principle is also known as the principle of non-maleficence.

The duty to respect patient autonomy is another important principle of medical ethics. This principle requires physicians to respect the autonomy of their patients, which includes the right to make decisions about their own medical care.

The duty to beneficence is the principle that requires physicians to act in the best interests of their patients. This principle requires physicians to provide beneficent care, which means care that is designed to promote the patient’s welfare.


Since medical diagnostics are designed to diagnose to help people, ethically dignity is a quality of a benefit to a good mental health which is member to the physiological self. Government benefits use pathological terms to establish who needs help to assign services, such as social services. Many of these systems insist upon the right to dignity as well. Qualifying for services and supports are highly ingrained in the systemic usage of pathological language and may indeed conflict with the right to dignity, especially in the cultural sense.

Therefore it goes to reason, that the right of dignity should not be inherently at conflict with the facts of needs within society. Society comprises culture, and modern societies often comprise many cultures which in democratic nations should not only accept but embrace diverse ways of thinking.

There is not therefore a need to pathologize people. The quality of ones needs to adapt in society are matters of both society in how it adapts to difference, as well as individuals in their respective qualities to adapt to it. Human dignity can also serve as a way of society accepting differences so that what was deemed “different” can be accepted and society can make ways for those differences to co-exist in dignified ways.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *