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Namibia: Supreme Court Ruling Against Forced Sterilizations of HIV-Positive Women

(Nov. 10, 2014) On November 3, 2014, the Supreme Court of Namibia ruled that three HIV-positive women had been forcibly sterilized, without proper consent, during emergency caesarean deliveries. The Court thereby affirmed an intermediate court ruling from July 2012, determining that the women had not freely given informed consent. (Alexandra Farone, Namibia High Court Rules […]

Russia: HIV-Infected Individuals Cannot Adopt Children

(Nov. 6, 2014) On September 23, 2014, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the legality of the list of illnesses that prohibit individuals from adopting children, establishing guardianship, or forming a foster family. (Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, Docket case AKPI 14-890 [in Russian], Supreme Court website (Sept. 23, 2014).) The List […]

World Health Organization: Report Calls for E-Cigarettes to Be Strictly Regulated

(Oct. 15, 2014) In a report entitled Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, to be discussed at the Conference of the Parties to the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, scheduled for October 13-18, 2014, the WHO recommends strict regulation of electronic cigarettes. (Taylor Gillan, World Health Organization Calls for Strong Regulation of Electronic […]

Israel: Precedent-Setting Decision on Rabbinical Court

(July 16, 2014) Israel’s High Court of Justice, with an extended bench of seven justices, recently voided a decision by the Supreme Rabbinical Court instructing a mother to enable the circumcision of her infant son against her will. (HCJ 8533/13 Anonymous v. Supreme Rabbinical Court [in Hebrew], State of Israel: The Judicial Authority website (June […]

Israel: Prohibition of Age-Based Discrimination in Public Places and in Provision of Products and Services

(July 15, 2014) On July 7, 2014, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Prohibition of Discrimination (Amendments) Law, 5774-2014. (Text [in Hebrew], Knesset website, [scroll down to appropriate link].) Explanatory notes for the bill state that public attention to the harmful impact of age-based discrimination has increased in recent years in part “due to the […]

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 […]