The law was first discussed by the Brazilian Congress in 1997 – the first draft was written by Academia Nacional de Cuidados Paliativos president Roberto Bettega. The law applies to patients receiving treatment under the National Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde).
In addition the law also provides for the standardisation of cancer therapies, and surgical clinics. Brazilian states which do not have specialised services in oncology will be required to draw up regional plans for the installation of a unit. Failure to comply will result in administrative penalties to managers directly and indirectly responsible.
The law is supported by the National Cancer Institute– according to the director general of the agency, Luiz Antonio Santini the initiative will improve the effectiveness of service delivery.