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The Right to Health as a Tool of Social Control: Compulsory Treatment Orders by Courts in Brazil.

  • Academic Journal
  • Filho LB; Lecturer in human rights advocacy at Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom.
  • Health and human rights [Health Hum Rights] 2022 Jun; Vol. 24 (1), pp. 159-169.
  • English
  • Brazilian citizens have a constitutional right to health. This right has also been a powerful instrument in the judicial enforcement of drug dependence treatment in Brazil. This study reviews a sample of decisions from the state of São Paulo and provides evidence that the right to health has been used to justify compulsory admission to treatment for people deemed to have a drug use disorder. These claims are filed against the state, mainly by families, who argue that the right to health of individuals is being violated. This model of litigation-oriented toward the satisfaction of a presumed health care need-does not engage sufficiently with individual informed consent and participation in the delivery of treatment, as a person-centered approach would demand. Further, the judgments reveal a low level of awareness among judges about the procedural rights of people ordered to undergo compulsory treatment, despite the large-scale implementation of the right to health via courts in Brazil. This problematic interpretation of the right to health, in the context of mounting punitive policies and ideology in Brazil, can be harmful to people who use drugs and bring about an environment of more limited patient safeguards.
    Competing Interests: Competing interests: None declared.
    (Copyright © 2022 Bottini Filho.)
Additional Information
Publisher: Harvard School of Public Health, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights Country of Publication: United States NLM ID: 9502498 Publication Model: Print Cited Medium: Internet ISSN: 2150-4113 (Electronic) Linking ISSN: 10790969 NLM ISO Abbreviation: Health Hum Rights Subsets: MEDLINE
Original Publication: Boston, MA : Harvard School of Public Health, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, c1994-
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Date Created: 20220624 Date Completed: 20220627 Latest Revision: 20220716

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