SPECIAL | They Made Amazon a Guinea Pig – Medical Unethics

The secretary of Work and Education Management of the Ministry of Health, Mayra Pinheiro, who is a doctor, made the 'Covid Kit' widely known (Edilson Rodrigues/Senate Agency)

Marcela Leiros – from Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – The use of the so-called “Kit Covid”, recommended by the Ministry of Health (MS), until recently, and publicly discarded by the office, in July, for not presenting any effectiveness in combating the Covid19, as letter sent by the body to the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI) of the Pandemic in the Senate, contradicts what determines the Code of Medical Ethics.

According to the document, established by Resolution No. 1931/2009 of the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM), it is forbidden for doctors to “allow pecuniary, ‘political, religious’, or any other interests of their employees or hierarchical superiors, or the public or private financer of health care, to interfere in the choice of the best means of prevention, diagnosis, or treatment available and ‘scientifically recognized’ in the interest of patient health or society (art. 20).


According to the document, which brings the rules to be followed by medical professionals during the exercise of their profession, it is also forbidden to “fail to use all available means of diagnosis and treatment, scientifically recognized and within their reach, in favor of the patient (art. 32)”.

Article 102 of the document forbids the medical professional to “not use the correct therapy, when its use is allowed in the country”, and releases the use of experimental therapy “when accepted by the competent bodies and with the consent of the patient or his legal representative, adequately informed of the situation and the possible consequences”. Chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and ivermectin, among other drugs that make up the ‘Kit’, are not approved by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) for the treatment of Covid-19, although part of them are standardized by the Unified Health System (SUS), but for the treatment of other diseases.

Finally, the Code of Medical Ethics emphasizes, in its article 113, that doctors are forbidden to disseminate, “outside the scientific community, a treatment process or discovery whose value is not yet expressly recognized scientifically by a competent body. Exactly the opposite of what has been happening in Brazil.

An example of this kind of disclosure came from the Work and Education Management Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Mayra Pinheiro, who is a doctor and who promoted, to exhaustion, the use of the “Covid Kit”, including in Manaus, Amazonas, a city she visited in January 2021, during the second peak of the new coronavirus pandemic in Amazonas, to launch the application TratCov, whose goal was to facilitate the diagnosis and ‘early’ treatment of Covid-19, through drugs with no scientifically proven efficacy.

A few days after Mayra Pinheiro’s visit to Manaus, to enforce the use of the “Covid Kit” in the capital, the city reached the peak of the second wave of Covid-19, with a transmission capacity rate (Rt) of 1.30 (every 100 people transmitted to up to 130), the highest recorded so far. Health officials recommend that the Rt rate stay below 1.00. The goal may help in controlling the pandemic.

According to Loft Science, which daily updates the Rt rate in the states and in the country, considering the number of effective reproduction as methodology, until July 21 this year, Amazonas had a Rt rate of 0.98, the 4th highest among the federation units, despite the significant reduction in the number of cases and deaths in the state, from January to July.


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