The campaign to eradicate Zika has trampled over women’s rights

The Conversation, 9 February 2017
Author: Pia Riggirozzi
“The delivery of health care programmes in Latin America should be anchored in an understanding of the inequalities, discrimination and power relations that prevent many people from accessing them. Governments should remember that they have legal and ethical obligations under international law to ensure the best possible provision of services for all.”
Find article here.

Human rights violations in organ procurement practice in China

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:11
Authors: Norbert W. Paul, Arthur Caplan, Michael E. Shapiro, Charl Els, Kirk C. Allison, Huige Li
“Over 90% of the organs transplanted in China before 2010 were procured from prisoners. Although Chinese officials announced in December 2014 that the country would completely cease using organs harvested from prisoners, no regulatory adjustments or changes in China’s organ donation laws followed. As a result, the use of prisoner organs remains legal in China if consent is obtained.”
Find article here.

Mother wins right to challenge prosecution for buying abortion pills in Northern Ireland

BMJ 2017; 356:j527
Author: Clare Dyer
“A mother who faces criminal charges in Northern Ireland for procuring abortion pills over the internet for her 15 year old daughter has won permission from the High Court to challenge the prosecution as a breach of human rights.”
Find article here.

South African scandal after nearly 100 mental health patients die

The Guardian, 2 February 2017
Source: Agence France-Presse
“At least 94 patients with mental health issues died after South African authorities moved them from hospitals to unlicensed health facilities. Many of the deaths were due to pneumonia, dehydration and diarrhoea. The centres also failed to provide seriously ill patients with enough food and water, leaving them severely malnourished, underweight and in some cases dying from dehydration.”
Find article here.

Why doctors need to speak out against female genital cutting in India

The BMJ Blog, 20 January 2017
Author: Aarefa Johari
“What is a doctor’s responsibility, then, in the face of such a ritual? Two of the most basic pillars of medical ethics are to do no harm and to act in the best interests of a patient. Female circumcision has no health benefits and can potentially harm girls and women. For a patient, it serves no scientific or medical interest. In fact, since khatna is not a medical procedure at all, girls being brought to get cut can hardly be called patients. Besides, a seven-year-old is not capable of giving informed consent to the procedure.”
Find article here.

Here’s What the Mexico City Policy Means for Women

Time, 23 January 2017
Author: Alexandra Sifferlin
“The policy forces health providers to decide whether to accept the ruling and no longer provide abortion-related counseling services, or reject it and lose U.S. funding that many rely on. Several health and development groups expressed concern about the possible implications on women’s health abroad. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is currently the largest bilateral donor of funding for family planning services, and studies reveal that when the Global Gag Rule is implemented, the number of clinics and family services in a given country drop, sometimes spurring a rise in abortion rates.”
Find article here.

Anti-abortion report challenges law reform in Northern Ireland

The Guardian, 18 January 2017
Author: Henry McDonald
“A report by anti-abortion campaigners in Northern Ireland has claimed that 100,000 people were born in the region because the 1967 Abortion Act was never extended to the province. The Both Lives Matter report published on Wednesday comes as the former justice minister in Northern Ireland confirmed this week that he will resubmit his private member’s bill in the next Stormont assembly calling on the new devolved parliament to legalise abortions in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities where the pregnancies are doomed.”
Find article here.

Let’s talk about the right to food

The BMJ Blog,10 January 2017
Authors: Jose Luis Vivero-Pol, Tomaso Ferrando
“Legal recognition of the right to food and nutrition can create the grounds for effective and systemic solutions for hunger and malnutrition. Recently, the media was abuzz with news of plans by the Scottish Equalities Secretary to legislate the right to food within Scottish law. This would be a step towards tackling food poverty in Scotland. This potential legislation will be historic, as Scotland will be the first country in the European Union (EU) to expressly recognize the right to food.”
Find article here.

Texas Abortion Provider Calls Fetal Burial Rule ‘Offensive’

Time, 3 January 2017
Author: Will Weissert
“Abortion providers told a federal judge Tuesday that Texas’ attempt to require burial or cremation of fetal remains was “government interference” without public health benefits. The question of what becomes of tissue left over from abortions and miscarriages is the latest legal battle over abortion in Texas.”
Find article here.