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From San Diego, California, USA:

I am middle-aged with Type 1 diabetes, and I've been taking insulin for about six months. I recently gave myself a shot in the cafeteria at work at a major hospital. The kitchen supervisor told my supervisor to tell me not to inject in the cafeteria as people were offended by it. Can I be prevented from injecting? Has anyone ever had a similar experience?


The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits schools from preventing children with diabetes from doing their care at school, like testing, injecting, and treating hypoglycemia. I would think that these laws were designed to protect you in the same way. The American Diabetes Association has a great deal of information against discrimination against people with diabetes: you can call them at 1-800-ADA-DISC.


[Editor's comment: Since you work in a hospital, it might be possible for you to talk with the hospital's diabetes nurse educator, and ask the nurse to try to help troubleshoot what to do next. WWQ]

Additional Comments from Dr. Lebinger:

I think it is always a problem for people with diabetes to balance their right to give insulin in public, versus how much you want to make those around you uncomfortable. I am sure you have a right to inject in public. I trust you are trying to give the insulin in an area which exposes the least amount of skin and that you are trying to do it discreetly. If you are injecting only Regular or Humalog, you might consider using a pen injector which is more discreet.

I think the issue of injecting in public is somewhat similar to the issue of breast feeding in public. There are times and places where these must be done in public. Many people who inject or breast feed in public try to do it in a discreet way keeping in mind that there are individuals who are uncomfortable watching these activities (whether this is right or wrong). There are times when they can be done more privately. Often it's a judgement call.


[Editor's comment: Injecting through clothing has been shown to be safe. JSH]

Original posting 31 Jan 98


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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