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Violência e profilaxia: os preventórios paulistas para filhos de portadores de hanseníase

This work analyses how the compulsory isolation practice of Hansen's disease patients in the State of São Paulo has contributed for the Hansen's stigma affecting people that never had the disease - the case of healthy children of Hansen's disease carriers. The present article discusses how eugenic ideals have contributed for the formation of a medical posture that even despite scientific advances and international recommendations has perpetuated discriminatory and segregational measures against these children. The paper shows how such children ended up by carrying life long "inborn stigma" that has resulted in the hindering of their life possibilities that made them hide their former condition of interns or egresses of preventive centers to compete in society under equal conditions for jobs and the establishment of social relations. It also analyses the life in the preventive centers, separation from the family and the daily life of hundreds of lives shaped within control structures where violence and arbitrariness were practiced in the name of a distorted view of prophylaxis.

stigmatization; marginality; hansen's disease; preventive centers; health policies


Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. Av. dr. Arnaldo, 715, Prédio da Biblioteca, 2º andar sala 2, 01246-904 São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7880 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: saudesoc@usp.br