Claiming the Right to Health in Brazilian Courts: The Exclusion of the Already Excluded

16 Pages Posted: 16 May 2008 Last revised: 6 Nov 2010

Virgilio Afonso da Silva

University of São Paulo - Faculty of Law

Fernanda Vargas Terrazas

University of Sao Paulo - Faculdade de Direito

Abstract

The aim of this article is to test a widespread belief among Brazilian legal scholars in the area of social rights, namely, the claim that courts are an alternative institutional voice for the poor, who are usually marginalized from the political process. According to this belief, social rights litigation would be a means (supposedly “a better means”) of realizing rights such as the right to healthcare, since supposedly both the wealthy and the poor have equal access to the courts. To probe the consistency of this belief, we analyzed the socioeconomic profile of plaintiffs in the city of Sao Paulo (Brazil) who were granted access to specific medication or medical treatment by judicial decisions. In this study, the justiciability of social rights has not proven to be a means of rendering certain public services more democratic and accessible.

Keywords: social rights, right to health, courts

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K30

Suggested Citation

da Silva, Virgilio Afonso and Terrazas, Fernanda Vargas, Claiming the Right to Health in Brazilian Courts: The Exclusion of the Already Excluded. Law and Social Inquiry, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1133620 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1133620

Virgilio Afonso Da Silva (Contact Author)

University of São Paulo - Faculty of Law ( email )

Largo Sao Francisco, 95
São Paulo, SP 01005-010
Brazil
+55-11-3111-4010 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.direito.usp.br/vas

Fernanda Vargas Terrazas

University of Sao Paulo - Faculdade de Direito ( email )

Largo São Francisco, 95 Prédio Anexo
São Paulo, São Paulo 01005-010
Brazil

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