Conference Announcement: Governance of Tobacco in the 21st Century

Governance of Tobacco in the 21st Century:
Strengthening National and International Policy for Global Health and Development

February 26-27, 2013
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

Keynote Speakers:
Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Chairperson, African Union Commission
Dr. Margaret Chan
Director-General, World Health Organization

How do international laws and institutions regarding tobacco, trade, investment, agriculture and economic development intersect? What are the implications for global tobacco control efforts? How should public health concerns be taken into account in international economic policymaking? What is the proper balance between a government’s obligations to protect the health of its citizens and other international agreements to which it has subscribed? What are the broader implications for global governance and for global health?

This conference will bring together representatives from governments, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, business, and academia to explore these questions with the objective of:

  • Enhancing knowledge, information-sharing, network-building and learning across countries, contexts and policymaking arenas
  • Identifying strategies to strengthen the governance of tobacco at national and international levels;
  • Fostering greater policy coherence among actors working in health, trade and investment to ensure the protection of global health

The conference is being hosted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Center for Global Tobacco Control and the Harvard Global Health Institute’s Forum on Global Governance for Health, with advice and support from the World Health Organization’s Tobacco-Free Initiative.

Additional support is provided by: American Legacy Foundation; American Cancer Society; the International Development Research Centre Canada; Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids; Harvard Law School; Framework Convention Alliance; O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University; Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins University; International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project, University of Waterloo, Canada; Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA).

Additional information is available here.  Registration is required.

Slipping euthanasia in Belgium

Happy New Year billofhealthfans!!

As you all know Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 following the path of The Netherlands. The legalization came in the midst of a huge controversy. The influence of the Catholic Church is significant in Belgium. You might recall that in 1990 King Balduino refused to sign an Act legalizing abortion, something unseen in the history of Belgium. The solution could not be more ingenious: the King resigned for a couple of days, the Act was signed by the Prime Minister, and then Parliament restored Balduino in his throne.

According to a recent survey in Flanders, euthanasia and assisted suicide in Belgium follows a classical pattern: cancer patient between 65 and 79 years of age. The cases in which the individual is not in the terminal stage of his illness and requests assistance in dying are rare. Nothing significantly deviant from what is going on in other jurisdictions in which aid in dying (in its various forms) is permitted. At least that was the trend until last December 14th… Continue reading