RESOURCES FOR THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY
Impact of Person-First Language in the Medical Community. Using appropriate language in a treatment setting can positively affect the ways individuals view themselves and their ability to continue treatment. Inappropriate language can have the opposite effect by stigmatizing patients and depersonalizing someone who is attempting to seek wellness. Stigmatizing words can discourage, isolate, shame, and embarrass someone with a chronic condition. Entire groups of people become devalued and excluded from society when disorder-labeling language is used to describe socially unacceptable health conditions. People may decide not to seek the treatment they need because of the stigma and social or economic consequences resulting from the way they’ve been defined.