Insurers ignoring calls to address discrimination: mental health groups

SMH, 2 January 2017
Author: Georgia Wilkins
“Mental health groups have accused the life insurance industry of ignoring calls to address discrimination, saying its treatment of people with mental health conditions is unethical and potentially unlawful.”
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European first: Malta bans gay conversion therapy

SBS, 7 December 2016
Author: Ben Winsor
“The Mediterranean Island of Malta has become the first country in Europe to ban ‘gay conversion therapy’, a practice that aims to ‘cure’ homosexuality. Legislation banning the practice was passed unanimously by a parliamentary committee in November, and has now been formally approved. The law imposes penalties of up to 10,000 euros and a year in jail for professionals found offering conversion services, local media reports.”
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Plan to reduce Indigenous suicides finally acknowledges lack of evidence and need for hope

The Conversation, 14 November 2016
Author: Anthony Dillon
“Last week the government released the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project report, which gave recommendations to reduce the high rate of suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. There are many factors contributing to Indigenous suicide, occurring in a wide variety of contexts. No document can answer every question on Indigenous suicide. The report does recognise that no two Indigenous suicides are identical.”
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Federal Panel Calls For Stricter Enforcement Of Mental Health Care Parity Law

NPR, 31 October 2016
Author: Jenny Gold
“Acknowledging that “there is more work to be done” to ensure that patients with mental illness and addiction don’t face discrimination in their health care, a presidential task force made a series of recommendations Friday including $9.3 million in funding to improve enforcement of the federal parity law.”
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Will the closure of India’s sterilisation camps end botched operations?

The Guardian, 26 October 2016
Author: Vidhi Doshi
“After a four-year legal battle with the government, this September the court ordered the government to shut down sterilisation camps across India within three years. The supreme court’s verdict is a historic victory for women’s rights activists who have campaigned against sterilisation camps for decades. The ruling could mean that, for the first time, India moves away from family planning policies that focus on women rather than men and provide a wider range of contraception, particularly in rural clinics.”
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H.I.V. Arrived in the U.S. Long Before ‘Patient Zero’

NYT, 26 October 2016
Author: Donald G. McNeil Jr.
“In the tortuous mythology of the AIDS epidemic, one legend never seems to die: Patient Zero, aka Gaétan Dugas, a globe-trotting, sexually insatiable French Canadian flight attendant who supposedly picked up H.I.V. in Haiti or Africa and spread it to dozens, even hundreds, of other men before his death in 1984. But after a new genetic analysis of stored blood samples, bolstered by some intriguing historical detective work, scientists on Wednesday declared him innocent.”
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Direct Provision: Is this really the best we can do for those seeking asylum?

BMJ Blog, 19 October 2016
Author: Rosanna O’Keeffe
“When can we say enough is enough? Direct provision has been described as “an example of a government policy, which has not only bred discrimination, social exclusion, enforced poverty, and neglect but placed children at real risk.” When you reflect on Ireland’s recent dark history of institutionalisation—its facilitation of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse and violation of human rights (in Magdalene Laundries and industrial schools etc) —you must wonder are we all complicit in allowing history to repeat itself?”
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More young girls asking GPs about genital cosmetic surgery

The Guardian, 6 October 2016
Author: Melissa Davey
“A world-first study has found that girls as young as 15 are asking their GPs about genital cosmetic surgery, and are increasingly concerned that their genitals don’t look “normal”. More than 1,500 labiaplasties were performed in Australia in 2013, representing a threefold increase in the procedure over the previous decade despite there being no increase in genital abnormalities.”
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Surgeon’s comments about Asian colleagues were rude but not racist, tribunal says

BMJ 2016; 354 :i5103
Author: Clare Dyer
“A senior surgeon and clinical director who spoke harshly about a group of doctors from India and Pakistan in front of other staff was rude but not racist and was not guilty of serious misconduct, a medical practitioners tribunal has found.”
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