Rechtliche und ethische Aspekte grenzüberschreitender Gesundheitsversorgung innerhalb der Europäischen Union [Legal and ethical aspects of cross-border healthcare within the European Union]

P. Schröder-Bäck*, K. Michelsen, L. Bongers, H. Brand, K. Förster, D. Townend

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Definition of the problem Patient mobility and cross-border healthcare are phenomena of daily healthcare practice within the EU. With the Directive "on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare", the EU in 2011 issued a comprehensive regulatory framework. No inventory or systematic assessment of ethical issues in this context exists. Argumentative strategy The current legal situation of cross-border healthcare within the EU and its historic development are presented. Based on a patient typology focusing on different patient motivations for crossing the border to receive healthcare, ethical issues of cross-border healthcare within the EU are discussed. ConclusionThe possibility of crossing borders for receiving planned healthcare in the EU—which is under certain conditions also reimbursed by health insurance and national health service schemes—potentially increases the autonomy of some patients. However, especially when considered from a justice perspective that asks for real equal opportunities for everyone, many ethical issues are conceivable that are not sufficiently studied or considered in the policy making process.
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)301-315
Number of pages15
JournalEthik in der Medizin
Issue number4
Early online date17 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Cross-border healthcare
  • Patient mobility
  • Law
  • European Union
  • Directive 2011/24/EU

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