CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Complementary medicine boost in Europe

Biometric passports get the nod along with alternative, complementary, and integrative medicine in European legal initiative.

In Switzerland, Swiss cheese is not the only hot item:

Swiss voters have approved the introduction of biometric passports - by the narrowest of margins.

Official final results show 50.14 per cent voted in favour. A separate initiative promoting alternative medicine won 67 per cent approval.

The result of the biometric passport vote was for several hours too close to call. And although it was passed, a majority of cantons - including Bern, Geneva, Basel City and Ticino - said no.

In the end just over 5,500 votes separated the two sides.

Turnout was low at 38 per cent.

The controversial new travel document will include the holder's electronic photograph and two fingerprints.

Members of the European single border area, including Switzerland, are required to introduce new biometric passports by next March. The new document should also allow visa-free entry into the United States.

The referendum came about after a broad political coalition challenged parliament's decision to adopt the new passport - in line with the European Union - and set up a fingerprint register.

....

Complementary medicine
Alternative medicine was given a boost on Sunday when the electorate gave wholehearted backing to an initiative requiring complementary forms of medicine to be covered by obligatory health insurance.

Alternative forms of medicine - including homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicine - are very popular in Switzerland, and approval had been expected.

Final results showed a 67 per cent approval rate and the backing of all cantons.

Opponents had unsuccessfully argued that including these forms of treatment would put more financial strain on the health system.

The rightwing Swiss People's Party was the only major party to reject the proposal.


Look for more news to come on legal developments in complementary medicine in Europe.

Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen today.

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