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The management (or lack thereof) of COVID-19 in Brazil: implications for human rights and public health

Erick da Luz Scherf (Department of Social Studies, Faculty of Social Science, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway)
Marcos Vinicius Viana da Silva (University of Passo Fundo, Passo Fundo, Brazil and School of Legal and Social Sciences, University of the Itajai Valley, Itajaí, Brazil)
Janaina S. Fachini (School of Health Sciences, University of the Itajai Valley, Itajaí, Brazil)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Article publication date: 7 December 2020

Issue publication date: 4 June 2021

197

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has been managed in Brazil, especially at the Federal Administrative level, with the focus being on the implications for human rights and public health in the country.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is built on a qualitative design made up of a case-study and review of the literature and is based on inductive reasoning.

Findings

Main conclusions were that: by not making sufficient efforts to safeguard the lives of Brazilians or to strengthen public health institutions amid the pandemic, Bolsonaro’s Administration may be violating the rights to life and health, among others, by omission; it was demonstrated that the President has worked unceasingly to bulldoze anti-COVID-19 efforts, which can be better explained through the concepts of necropolitics and neoliberal authoritarianism.

Research limitations/implications

One of the limitations to this research is that this paper was not able to discuss more thoroughly which other human rights norms and principles (apart from the right to health, life and the duty to protect vulnerable populations) have possibly been violated amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Overall, this research can help expand the literature on human rights in health management during and after emergency times.

Originality/value

This paper focuses on recent events and on urgent matters that need to be addressed immediately in Brazil. This study provides an innovative health policy/human rights analysis to build an academic account of the ongoing pandemic in the largest country in South America.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

We thank the editors and anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments on the manuscript.Funding: No funding was received at any time for the development of this research.Conflict of interest statement: On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Citation

da Luz Scherf, E., Viana da Silva, M.V. and S. Fachini, J. (2021), "The management (or lack thereof) of COVID-19 in Brazil: implications for human rights and public health", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 158-174. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-09-2020-0085

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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