- Too ashamed to complain: cuts to publicly financed care and clients’ waiving of their right to appeal
- Social Policy and Society
- Volume | Issue number
- 12 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article examines how Dutch citizens with long-term care needs have used existing legal opportunities to respond to cuts in publicly financed care. Unexpectedly, most did not make use of their right to appeal the reduction or elimination of their previous entitlements, even when this led to marked problems in daily life. Thirty interviews with disabled and elderly persons and their care-givers revealed that specific social norms on how to feel about the cuts inhibited the lodging of appeals. Given the new policy's stated intention of preserving care for the most needy, many affected clients felt they had no right to be angry. Despite their (often objectively warranted) grievances, they did not appeal as breaking with the new moral code would trigger feelings of shame - of not being autonomous, of demanding too much when others are worse off, and of appearing ungrateful.
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