© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/157180908X338241 European Journal of Health Law 15 (2008) 297-306 www.brill.nl/ejhl Th e Ageing Populations of Europe — Implications for Health Systems and Patients’ Rights 1 Elisabeth Rynning Department of Law, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden Abstract Europe is facing a trend of demographic and social change that is likely to have a signiﬁ cant impact on our health systems in the coming decades. Th e primary concerns are related to the double challenge of population ageing and population decline. Th ese changes will result in a shrinking workforce to handle the steadily increasing healthcare needs of the very old, who will constitute the fastest growing segment of the population. A number of strategies to meet this challenge are suggested and implemented, not least at the EU level. Adaptation of European health systems to the new situation also makes it necessary to revisit familiar medico-legal issues, in order to clarify and consolidate a number of already established patients’ rights. Keywords Demographic change; ageing; health systems; patients’ rights 1. Th e Health Paradox One way in which the welfare state manifests itself is by improving the standard of health in its population. A healthy
European Journal of Health Law – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
Keywords: AGEING; PATIENTS' RIGHTS; DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE; HEALTH SYSTEMS
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