Ageing in Europe: international human rights perspectives on the provision of institutional elderly care

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Doblhoff-Dier, Rosmarie
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As “the quality of a society and the degree to which human dignity values are fulfilled may be measured by the treatment accorded to its vulnerable members”, it appears worthwhile to look at the status of older members of European society under a Human Rights perspective. Reflecting on the current ageing process and the reluctance of European health care systems to consider the provision of elderly care from a rights-based approach, the research focuses on the specifically vulnerable position of older persons in institutional care facilities. Key questions this thesis seeks to address are therefore the evaluation of major areas of concern arising in institutions for the elderly; the identification of relevant Human Rights as valuable responses to the resulting deprivations; and the extent to which the human rights status of the elderly is affected when care services are provided by private institutions rather than by the public sector. Principles of non-discrimination, dignity, privacy and autonomy are supporting the evaluation of possible human rights claims both under the Human Rights system of the United Nations and the Council of Europe. Subsequently, the adequacy of general provisions of international Human Rights law to effectively respond to specific deprivations will be questioned, and the potential for a new and distinct human rights framework for older persons shall be discussed.
Second semester University: University of Nottingham.
eldery, older people, Europe, public health