Dear colleagues,

You are cordially invited to submit your abstract for the upcoming 6th European Association of Health Law (EAHL) Conference in Bergen (Norway), 28-29 September 2017. The conference is organised by University of Bergen, Faculty of Law, in close co-operation with the EAHL.

Theme of the conference

The theme of the conference is “Health Rights Regulations and the Distribution of Healthcare in Europe”. Demographic and social changes, and technological innovations, have significant impact on the affordability of health systems in Europe. The EAHL conference theme addresses challenges within contemporary European (and national) health law from a patient’s rights and a social perspective. Healthcare costs are increasing with the development of personalised medicine, leading to more expensive diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The growing demand for health services continues to raise questions about accessibility, affordability and quality of health services, especially for ageing societies. Inequalities in access to healthcare particularly affect socially vulnerable groups: elderly, refugees, migrants (especially those in an irregular situation), children and homeless people.
Questions regarding priority setting in healthcare are not new, but they are recurrent and require ongoing discussion. The rapid demographic changes and technological advances clearly call for new models or approaches. To achieve value based healthcare, legal responses are necessary both at a national and European level. Cross-border healthcare could be used as an instrument to improve cost-effective and equitable care of good quality.

The conference aims to address every aspect that contributes to a distribution of healthcare that is just and in accordance with human rights standards, in times of scarcity and high-cost innovations: healthcare that is safe, cultural sensitive, cost-effective, with respect for patients’ rights and human rights obligations. This includes the influence of international (UN) and European jurisprudence (Council of Europe, European Union), public health measures, standardisation and prioritisation of health care, professional guidelines, innovations (e.g. robotisation, gene-therapy, telemedicine, orphan drugs, personalised medicine, medical research), resilience and self-care, new models of care, interplay between private and public healthcare providers and health insurances, as well as co-operation at European level on strategies to effectively manage cost effective, patient friendly healthcare.

Preliminary sub-themes of the conference

– Distribution of healthcare: This theme could include principles for fair and effective distribution of healthcare services, the use of various kinds of legislative models and regulative instruments (legislation, priority guidelines, soft law mechanisms, administrative regulations, etc) and the interplay between them, and special protection of vulnerable groups
– Innovative responses: New technological developments, increased European cross border care, increased demand for services etc. may call for new legal thinking.
– International obligations: All European countries have ratified core international human rights instruments and are members of the Council of Europe and most are partners in the European Union. How do different countries understand and implement the obligation of securing equal access to healthcare services of good quality, the principle of non-discrimination and other requirements?

More information (e.g. on the conference fee) will soon be on the website of the conference: The deadline for the abstract- submission will be 15 May 2017. Participants registering before this date will be given an “early bird” fee.


On Wednesday 27 September a seminar for Phd students will be held, where they will be able to present and discuss their projects with PhD students in health law from across Europe and with senior scholars within the field.
The organizers are also planning a seminar open to the general public on the evening of 27 September on a contemporary health law topic.


On behalf of the organizing committee,

Karl Harald Søvig