For World Diabetes Day 2019, the French Diabetes Federation launched a campaign “People living with diabetes, some jobs turn their backs on you”, designed to raise awareness of the fact that today in France and in Europe, if you have diabetes, you are excluded from joining some professions.
This includes professions like airplane pilot, firefighter, train driver, or police officer. They call on the French authorities to change the legislation. This legislation is out of date and does not take into account recent therapeutic progress, technological innovation, and how these jobs themselves have evolved over time.
A petition was launched asking for the revision of the regulatory texts that prohibit people with diabetes from accessing certain professions so that they can perform the job of their choice, according to their abilities and the state of their health, on a case by case basis.
What happens in other countries?
As has been shown in other countries that have allowed people with diabetes to perform these jobs, this discrimination is no longer necessary. For example:
- In Canada, it is possible to become an airline pilot when you have diabetes. Pilots with diabetes must fly with another pilot and monitor their blood glucose levels before each flight, every hour in flight, and 30 minutes before landing.
- In the UK, since 2012, qualified pilots and air traffic controllers with diabetes treated with insulin and other drugs can perform all operational tasks including commercial aircraft flights.
- In the United States, a person with type 1 or 2 diabetes who is treated with insulin can become a firefighter if they meet certain medical criteria and manage their diabetes well. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced new protocols for insulin-treated diabetes, which will allow them to fly commercial airplanes. The ADA is following the development of this new protocol.
Solidarity across borders
The campaign has been supported by the Diabetes Association of Spain (Fede), Diabetes UK, Andrew Boulton (IDF President), and Douglas Cairns (Flying with diabetes). Solidarity across borders has already achieved much progress.