Dignity and health: a review

Soc Sci Med. 2007 Jan;64(2):292-302. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.08.039. Epub 2006 Oct 10.


Attention to dignity is thriving in health. However, much of this recent discourse ignores the broader scholarship pertaining to dignity. The purpose of this review is to synthesize a wide range of multidisciplinary writing in order to put recent discussions of dignity and health into a broader context. The review explicates two main meanings of dignity-human dignity and social dignity, and looks at how these two ideas are used in the arenas of human rights, law, social justice, bioethics, and clinical care, and suggests some implications of these meanings and uses for health research and advocacy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bioethics
  • Delivery of Health Care / ethics*
  • Human Rights*
  • Humans
  • Social Justice