Public Health ordered to use gender-neutral terms

The Guam Daily Post, 16 June 2017
Author: John O’Connor
“The Department of Public Health and Social Services has been ordered by the Superior Court of Guam to update its record system and forms, including birth certificates, so that they are gender neutral. The department will have 30 days from May 31 to enact the changes and will make gender-neutral birth certificates available to same-sex parents who did not receive certificates correctly identifying both of them in the past.”
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Ethics involved in life support decisions remain matter of debate

The Globe and Mail, 15 June 2017
Author: Wency Leung
“When doctors aren’t able to have end-of-life discussions with patients themselves, they often have to approach the delicate subject with the patient’s caregiver or family members. From a doctor’s perspective, these discussions typically involve presenting the evidence of what is known about the situation, what the likely outcomes may be, given that evidence, and most importantly, understanding the patient – what their values are, their expectations and ideology. To make a choice about whether to proceed with aggressive treatment, families should be informed about what those treatments are, the possible risks and benefits and what the ultimate outcomes are.”
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Abortion figures prompt fresh calls for reform of Northern Irish law

The Guardian, 13 June 2017
Author: Amelia Gentleman
“More than 700 women traveled from Northern Ireland to England for an abortion in 2016, obliged to travel because the procedure remains illegal in most circumstances in the region. Figures released by the Department of Health on Tuesday will attract renewed attention to Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion legislation. Terminations are illegal in Northern Ireland unless a woman’s life is in danger or there is a serious risk to her physical or mental health.”
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Polio outbreaks in DRC set back global efforts to eradicate the disease

The Guardian, 15 June 2017
Author: Ruth Maclean
“Two separate outbreaks of polio in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have set back global efforts to eradicate the debilitating disease. The World Health Organisation last week said the virus had also come back in Syria. But the known cases could be just the tip of the iceberg: for every case of polio that is diagnosed, epidemiologists say there are 200 “silent infections” – people who have no symptoms but can pass the disease on to others.”
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Charlie Gard’s parents make emergency appeal to European judges

The Guardian, 9 June 2017
Author: Owen Bowcott
“Established human rights law dictates that the rights of a child should take precedence over the rights of their parent, Hale stressed in her decision. “The child’s interests must prevail,” she said. Lawyers for the child’s guardian appointed by the court have argued against sending Charlie to the US, saying that the proposed treatment would be futile.”
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Challenges To Reducing Discrimination And Health Inequity Through Existing Civil Rights Laws

Health Aff 2017 vol. 36 no. 6 1041-1047
Authors: Amitabh Chandra, Michael Frakes, Anup Malani
“More than fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, health care for racial and ethnic minorities remains in many ways separate and unequal in the United States. Moreover, efforts to improve minority health care face challenges that differ from those confronted during de jure segregation. We review these challenges and examine whether stronger enforcement of existing civil rights legislation could help overcome them.”
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Comments on the Lambert case: the rulings of the French Conseil d’Etat and the European Court of Human Rights

Med Health Care and Philos (2017) 20:187
Author: Denard Veshi
“This study examines the decisions of the French Conseil d’Etat (Supreme Administrative Court) and the European Court of Human Rights in the Lambert case concerning the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments. After presenting the facts of this case, the main legal question will be analyzed from an ethical and medical standpoint. The decisions of the Conseil d’Etat and then of the European Court of Human Rights are studied from a comparative legal perspective. This commentary focuses on the autonomous will of an unconscious patient and on the judicial interpretation of the right to life as recognized in article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Furthermore, it medically classifies artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) as a ‘treatment’ which has ethical and legal implications.”
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Wales is leading the world with its new public health law

The Conversation, 31 May 2017
Author: Richard Owen
“Wales’s devolved government is close to enacting another innovative law aimed at bettering the health of its people. the new Public Health (Wales) Bill includes specific provisions for banning smoking in hospital grounds, placing a duty on the Welsh government to produce a national obesity strategy and making pharmacy services more responsive to community needs, the fact that it puts Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) on a statutory footing is the most interesting and important feature. HIAs are a pre-decision assessment of the effects of proposed action – regulations, policy, programmes or projects – by public bodies on human health. It’s a “health in all policies” approach.”
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I’ve seen first hand why we need safe access zones around abortion clinics

SMH, 29 May 2017
Author: Philip Goldstone
“Earlier this month, Dr Mehreen Faruqi’s private member’s bill seeking to decriminalise abortion in NSW was defeated by the NSW Legislative Council. Had it been successful, the bill, among other things, would have implemented 150-metre safe access zones around clinics that provide abortion services. The zones ensure patients can enter a clinic without being harassed by protesters and recorded without their permission. They provide a bubble of safety around a clinic so patients can have their privacy upheld and can access sexual and reproductive health services without being intimidated.”
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