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Journal of Human Growth and Development

Print version ISSN 0104-1282On-line version ISSN 2175-3598


LIMA, Isabel Maria Sampaio Oliveira; ALVES, Vânia Sampaio  and  FRANCO, Anamélia Lins e Silva. Medical visits in the context of the family health program and children's right. Rev. bras. crescimento desenvolv. hum. [online]. 2007, vol.17, n.3, pp.84-94. ISSN 0104-1282.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the family health doctor's understanding of children's right to health. METHODOLOGY: Fifty medical visits with children under the age of six were observed. They were conducted by ten different family health doctors, in three different cities within the state of Bahia. With the express consent of the doctors and the children's guardians/parents, the visits were audio taped and, later, entirely transcribed. The visits' analysis consisted of two consecutive and complementary stages regarding the study's goals: a description of how the doctor conducted the visit, and an interpretative analysis of the interaction and communication between doctors and the children's families. RESULTS: The investigation indicates that medical visits are guided by integral care concerning children's health; however, a restricted concept of health prevails amongst doctors. By limiting patient's complaint to symptoms and focusing on the medical treatment, medical visits jeopardize the understanding of its determinants, deviating from the reality of families and communities. Medical visits fail to be the grounds for the ratification of the children's right. CONCLUSIONS: The investigation concludes, from a perspective of the children's right, that medical care has to be guided by the "best interest of the children" principle according to the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child. This evidence demonstrates the importance of incorporating the "integral protection of the child" paradigm into the education of health care providers.

Keywords : Health policies; Family health program; Children's right to health.

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