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France: New Bioethics Law

(July 18, 2011) Law 2011-814 of July 7, 2011, on bioethics was finally adopted by the French Parliament after months of debate and published in the JOURNAL OFFICIEL, France's official gazette, of July 8, 2011. (Loi n° 2011-814 du 7 juillet 2011 relative à la bioéthique, LEGIFRANCE (last visited July 14, 2011)). The new Law […]

European Court of Human Rights; Poland: Court Rules for Plaintiff in Abortion Rights Case

(June 1, 2011) On May 26, 2011, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a judgment in an abortion case brought by a Polish woman who had been concerned in 2002 that carrying her pregnancy to full term would result in a child with serious deformities. The ruling was six to one in favor […]

Nepal: Bill on Tobacco Control Adopted by Legislature

(May 9, 2011) The Constituent Assembly of Nepal, the country's legislature, approved the Tobacco Product Control and Regulatory Bill, 2010 on April 11, 2011. The new law will take effect 90 days after its endorsement by the President of Nepal. (Nepal Legislature-Parliament Passes New Tobacco Control Law, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease website […]

China: Ban on Smoking in Indoor Public Places Takes Effect

(May 5, 2011) Effective May 1, 2011, smoking is banned in all indoor public places in China, according the Implementation Rules of the Regulations on Health Administration of Public Places, issued by the Ministry of Health. (Text of the Rules [in Chinese], the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China official website (Mar. […]

China: More Control of Smoking on Screen

(Feb. 23, 2011) On February 12, 2011, the General Office of China's State Administration for Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) issued a circular on controlling smoking scenes in movie and television productions. According to the circular, “[f]requent smoking scenes in films and TV dramas do not accord with China's stance on tobacco control and mislead […]

Fiji: HIV/AIDS Decree Approved by Cabinet

(Jan. 26, 2011) On January 18, 2011, it was announced that the Fiji Cabinet had approved the HIV/AIDS Decree 2011. (Press Release, Ministry of Information, 1-18-11 Cabinet Approves HIV/AIDS Decree 2011 (Jan. 18, 2011), This Decree “aims to safeguard the privacy and rights of persons infected or affected by HIV/AIDS,” (id.) including by: · […]

Taiwan: Amendment of National Health Insurance Act

(Jan. 11, 2011) On January 4, 2011, Taiwan's legislature adopted controversial amendments to the National Health Insurance Act, after opposition Democratic People's Party (DPP) legislators walked out in protest following the rejection by the “pan-blue”-dominated body of the DPP proposal to base health insurance fees on household income. (Flora Wang & Vincent Y. Chao, KMT […]

Ireland: Government Response to Loss in European Court Ruling on Abortion Law

(Jan. 4, 2011) On December 16, 2010, the office of the head of the government in Ireland issued a statement indicating that the government would study the issue of what steps the country needs to take in order to comply with a recent judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that found that […]

Switzerland: Decriminalization of Narcotics Consumption Proposed

(Oct. 20, 2010) On October, 15, 2010, the Committee for Social Security and Health of the National Council (Nationalrat), the representative chamber of the bicameral Swiss Parliament, resolved to initiate the legislative process for amending the Narcotics Act (Betäbungsmittelgesetz, Oct. 3, 1951, Systematische Sammlung des Bundesrechts No. 812.121, The purpose of this proposed reform […]

International Labour Organization: Global Labor Standard on HIV/AIDS Adopted

(June 21, 2010) On June 17, 2010, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations body devoted to labor issues, adopted a standard on HIV and AIDS. The action came during the ILO annual meeting and is the first time an international human rights document has focused on the disease and how it is handled […]