Mary Anne Bobinski
Former Dean and Professor of Law
University of British Columbia
Peter A. Allard School of Law
Significant New Developments
Affordable Care Act. With the election of Donald Trump in November 2016, Republican pledges to repeal the Affordable Care Act may come to fruition. For an update on repeal possibilities, see here. In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the provision of subsidies on federally-operated health insurance exchanges, rejecting the claim that the Affordable Care Act only authorized subsidies on state-operated exchanges. For an edited version of the decision, see here.
End-of-Life Decisions. Washington, DC's Death with Dignity Act took effect on February 20, 2017. In November 2016, voters in Colorado approved a ballot referendum for aid in dying. In October 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed California's aid-in-dying legislation making the state the largest to recognize the practice. In May 2013, Vermont became the third state to enact an aid-in-dying statute and the first state to do so by legislative action. In January 2014, a state trial court judge in New Mexico concluded that the state constitution recognizes a right to aid in dying for terminally ill patients, but in June 2016, the state supreme Court overrode the trial court. The New Mexico Supreme Court decision is here. In February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized a constitutional right to aid in dying, and the Canadian Parliament passed implementing regulations in June 2016.
Organ Transplantation. In June 2013, UNOS authorized case-by-case exceptions to its policy excluding transplants of adult lungs into children younger than age 12.
Patenting Genes. In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected patents on human genes but did permit patents on composite DNA (cDNA).