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Citizenship and Humanisation of the Public Sector

Dignified care for people with multiple health conditions (completed)

  • Period: 2016-2019
  • Status: completed

The research project ‘Public municipal health policy and human dignity: fostering new normative expressions’, headed by Dr. Alistair Niemeijer, attempts to elaborate human dignity in the domain of public health care. The project is a collaboration between the UvH departments of Care Ethics and Humanisation of the Public Sector, with the City of Utrecht. It was completed in 2019.

Download the final report and watch the animation on how to use the tool De Waardigheidscirkel (‘the Dignity Circle’) on the web page (in Dutch):


As the role of the (local) government is increasingly changing from supporting to facilitating, it is becoming increasingly important to treat both citizens’ health and dignity seriously. Accordingly, the City of Utrecht is not only dedicated to positive health but has also included human dignity as an important pillar of its health policy. At the same, however, it is not entirely clear what human dignity means, exactly, and what it implies for policy-making with respect to health.

This research project aims to understand what dignity means for people with multiple problems, with the goal of reducing health disparities. The researchers apply a care-ethical conception of dignity, and the study will combine conceptual approaches with the practical work field. 



The study is funded by ZonMw, which is part of the Dutch Research Council (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, NWO).


The research report ‘De Waardigheidscirkel’ ( was presented on 23 January 2019 and offered to Utrecht’s alderman for public health, Victor Everhardt, at the symposium ‘Ruimte voor Iedereen?’ Aandacht voor kwetsbare Utrechters’ (‘Room for Everyone? Attention for vulnerable Utrecht citizens’). 

Also see

Read the press release 'Hoe lever je waardige zorg aan mensen met een meervoudige beperking?' (in Dutch)
Download the report and watch the animation on how to use the tool De Waardigheidscirkel (in Dutch)


Dr. Alistair Niemeijer,

This research project elaborates human dignity in the domain of public health care. The project is a collaborative venture with the City of Utrecht.