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Denmark: Changing Legal Sexual Identity Simplified

(July 3, 2014) The Danish Parliament has approved a law allowing Danish citizens to change their legal gender identity without first undergoing sterilization or surgery. Denmark’s Minister of the Economy and Interior, Margrethe Vestager, announced on June 11, 2014, that beginning September 1, Danish citizens over the age of 18 may apply to change their […]

Organization of American States: Agreement with PAHO on Cooperation to Achieve Universal Health Coverage

(July 3, 2014) On June 3, 2014, the leaders of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Organization of American States (OAS) signed a joint declaration in which they agreed to collaborate in order to achieve universal health coverage in the Western Hemisphere. (Press Release, OAS, The OAS and PAHO Will Work Together for […]

Canada; Mexico; United States: Agreement on Health Emergencies

(July 2, 2014) Health authorities from Mexico, the United States, and Canada recently announced that they have reached an agreement on a Declaration of Intent that sets forth guidelines and principles concerning how these countries will exchange public information during health emergencies of common interest. (Press Release, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), […]

Japan: New Laws for Healthcare and Medical Strategy

(June 10, 2014) The Act to Promote Healthcare and Medical Strategy was promulgated in Japan on May 30, 2014. (See Kenko iryo senryaku suishin ho, Act No. 48 of 2014, House of Representatives website.) The Act is designed to create a system to support research and development in healthcare and the medical industry that will […]

France: Denial of Adoption for Same-Sex Parents of Child Conceived Through Medically Assisted Reproduction

(May 23, 2014) A court in Versailles has denied a same-sex couple the adoption of a child conceived through medically assisted reproduction (M.A.R.). [Gaëlle Dupont, Premier refus d’adoption à un couple de femmes ayant conçu un enfant par PMA [First Refusal for the Adoption of a Child Conceived through M.A.R. by Two Women], LE MONDE […]

Australia: Budget Includes Introduction of $7 Co-pay for Doctor Visits

(May 22, 2014) On May 13, 2014, the Australian Treasurer, Joe Hockey, published the federal government’s annual budget for the period July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015. (BUDGET 2014-1 (last visited May 14, 2014); for information on the Australian appropriations process, see The Commonwealth’s Appropriation Framework – An Introduction, Department of Finance website, http://www.finance.gov.au/budget/budget-process/appropriation-bills.html […]

European Union: New Regulation on Clinical Trials

(Apr. 17, 2014) On April 14, 2014, a new regulation on the authorization of clinical trials was adopted at the European Union level by the Council of the EU. The European Parliament approved the regulation in December 2013. (Press Release, Council of the European Union, Council Adopts New Rules on Clinical Trials, CONSILIUM [Council of […]

Belgium: Removal of Age Restriction for Euthanasia

(Mar. 11, 2014) On March 2, 2014, Belgium’s King Philippe signed into law an amendment to that country’s euthanasia law that would open the medically assisted suicide option to children. (Christian Laporte, Le Roi a signé la loi sur l’extension de l’euthanasie [The King Has Signed the Law Extending Euthanasia], LA LIBRE (updated Mar. 3, […]

Norway: Abortion Law May Be Tightened

(Mar. 6, 2014) It was reported on January 2, 2014, that Norway plans to tighten its abortion law, after it was found that the number of late-term abortions appeared to be increasing. Norway’s Public Health Institute figures indicated that while there were five abortions performed late in a pregnancy between 2001 and 2009, 12 late-pregnancy […]

Taiwan: Law on Food Safety Amended

(Feb. 6, 2014) On January 28, 2014, Taiwan’s legislature passed amendments to the Act Governing Food Sanitation. According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW), “[t]he latest changes will greatly improve Taiwan’s legal framework for food sanitation management, while promoting consumer protection and protecting public health.” (ROC Legislature OKs Food Act […]