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Beyond Imported MagicEssays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America$
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Eden Medina, Ivan da Costa Marques, and Christina Holmes

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027458

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027458.001.0001

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The Juridical Hospital: Patient-Citizen-Consumers Claiming the Right to Health in Brazilian Courts

The Juridical Hospital: Patient-Citizen-Consumers Claiming the Right to Health in Brazilian Courts

Chapter:
(p.349) 17 The Juridical Hospital: Patient-Citizen-Consumers Claiming the Right to Health in Brazilian Courts
Source:
Beyond Imported Magic
Author(s):

João Biehl

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262027458.003.0017

Biehl examines how “right-to-health” legislation in Brazil is changing the relationship among technology, medicine, and the law. Right-to-health legislation requires the state to pay for health care in the form of certain pharmaceuticals, which has spurred a phenomenon referred to as the “judicialization of health.” Biehl chronicles how some Brazilian poor have turned to suing the government to claim their right to access newer medical technologies, often expensive proprietary pharmaceuticals that otherwise would be beyond their reach. This in turn shifts public understanding of the state’s role in health care toward the acquisition of and payment for pharmaceutical treatments that are often manufactured by multinational pharmaceutical companies. Biehl examines the practices of citizenship and governance that are emerging from these struggles and how the market, acting through the acquisition of pharmaceuticals, is influencing the way Brazilians understand their relationship with the state.

Keywords:   judicialization, health, right-to-health legislation, medical technologies, pharmaceuticals, citizenship, governance, Brazil

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