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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, […]

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 […]

Japan: Basic Law on Measures Against Health Problems Caused by Alcohol Intake

(Feb. 5, 2014) A law that establishes measures on alcohol-related problems, including health issues and alcoholism, was enacted in December 2013. (Basic Law on Measures Against Health Problems Caused by Alcohol Intake (hereinafter Alcohol Problem Basic Law), Act No. 109 of 2013.) It was estimated in 2003 that there were 8.6 million heavy drinkers in […]

Israel: New Directives on Use of Marijuana for Medical Purposes

(Jan. 6, 2014) On December 15, 2013, the Israeli government approved new directives for the distribution of cannabis to patients. The directives were proposed by the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Internal Security (hereinafter the Ministry of Health). Cannabis is currently defined as a dangerous substance under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (New Version), 5733-1971 (3 […]

Brazil: More Medical Doctors Program Launched

(Oct. 30, 2013) On October 22, 2013, Brazilian President Dilma Roussef signed Law No. 12,871 (Lei No. 12.871, de 22 de Outubro de 2013, PLANATO.GOV.BR), which creates the More Medical Doctors Program. This program enables the hiring of Brazilian and foreign medical doctors to work in the National Health System (Sistema Unico de Saúde – […]

Norway: Tightening of Restrictions on Unhealthy Food Ads Aimed at Youth

(Aug. 29, 2013) It was reported on July 2, 2013, that the marketing of unhealthy food and drink to young people under the age of 16 might become illegal in Norway. (Julie Ryland, Bans Unhealthy Food Ads Directed at Children, THE NORWAY POST (July 2, 2013).) Initially, in 2012, the Ministry of Health and Care […]