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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4464


VIEIRA-DA-SILVA, Ligia Maria  and  ALMEIDA FILHO, Naomar de. Health equity: a critical analysis of concepts. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, suppl.2, pp.s217-s226. ISSN 0102-311X.

Health inequalities have been studied mainly from an epidemiological perspective, with limited attention to conceptual issues. The terms "equity" and "equality" have often been used as synonyms, as have their opposites, "inequity" and "inequality". The few attempts to establish their meanings have been either purely descriptive or have failed to add to an understanding of the underlying dynamics in health-disease-related phenomena. The present essay explores the semantic series that includes difference, diversity, distinction, inequality, and inequity and its relationship to health phenomena in light of Perelman's concept of equity, Bourdieu's sociology, and some arguments in Heller's theory of justice, with the aim of contributing to the development of these concepts, while discussing their implications for policymaking in health.

Keywords : Equity in Health; Health Inequalities; Concept Formation.

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