Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
CORREIA, Ludmila Cerqueira; LIMA, Isabel Maria Sampaio Oliveira and ALVES, Vânia Sampaio. The rights of criminally insane individuals. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.23, n.9, pp. 1995-2002. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2007000900002.
The Psychiatric Reform Movement has supported proposals to reorient the hegemonic mental health care model. In Brazil, a facility for the criminally insane was created, called the Custody and Psychiatric Treatment Hospital (CPTH). The maintenance of such a structure, known as total institutionalization, has reinforced individual exclusion, limiting the patients' social rehabilitation. This article discusses the right to health in the CPTH from a human rights perspective. The advances achieved in Brazil under the National Mental Health Policy have failed to include reorientation of the care provided in such facilities for the criminally insane. The institution has remained an isolationist asylum, reflecting a historical denial of human rights. Progress in policy, per se, does not guarantee the materialization of recent strides gained through the Psychiatric Reform, particularly in relation to criminals with mental disorders. The state, through shared responsibility with society, should promote the effective reorientation of the health care model for these individuals, whose criminal responsibility should be acknowledged, while providing simultaneously for specialized care. Respect for human rights is not synonymous with impunity.
Keywords : Psychiatric Hospitals; Right to Health; Human Rights; Mental Health.