EAHL 2011 Conference

Third European Conference on Health Law in Leuven
Under the auspices of the European Association for Health Law, the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law of the Catholic University of Leuven organized (as part of celebrating its 25th anniversary) the Third European Conference on health Law on the 6th and 7th of October 2011.  The first and the second of these conferences were both organized in Edinburgh by the team of professor Graeme Laurie. Thus, for the first time, the European Conference on Health Law was organized on the European continent, in Belgium were also the World Association for Medical Law originated in 1967. 
The central theme of the Conference in Leuven was ‘AN AGEING EUROPE – HEALTH LAW REVISITED’. Europe is facing a trend of demographic and social change that is likely to have a significant impact on our health systems in the coming decades. The primary concerns are related to the double challenge of population ageing and population decline. These 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. Adaptation of European health systems to the new situation also makes it necessary to revisit familiar and less familiar health law problems.  The Conference was a great success, with more than 160 participants coming from every place in Europe and other parts of the globe. Scientifically speaking, it was a great pleasure with presentations and discussions on themes such as decisionmaking by advance directives, proxy’s, guardians; end of life decisions; telecare, telemonitoring and the protection of privacy; access to affordable health care; cross border care; medical experiments with elderly subjects and access to (private) health insurance. 
The Conference was preceded by a closed workshop for early career researchers on the 5th of October which guaranteed an important participation of young scholars.  A lot of them inscribed as a member of the Association, guaranteeing it a great future. The prize for the best poster presentation was won by Michiel Verlinden and his colleagues (Access rules stimulating the exchange of biological specimen within biomedical research).
Herman Nys
Director of the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law
Treasurer of the European Association for Health Law
Vice President of the World Association of Medical Law
Member of the European Group on Ethics of the European Commission
Leuven conference photos: