The European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 19 November 1996 and opened for signature in Oviedo, Spain, on 4 April 1997. As of the moment of writing 11 Member States of the EU have ratified the Convention: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. The overall purpose of this article is to analyze whether these ratifying EU Member States have fulfilled their obligation provided for in article I of Section 2 of the Convention ("each Party shall take in its internal law the necessary measures to give effect to the provisions of this Convention"). We further explored the legal consequences of ratification of the Convention. We analysed for each ratifying Member State whether and how the ratification of the Convention has influenced patient rights legislation and policies. Finally, we concluded by dividing the 11 Member States into 4 categories depending upon the already existing patient rights legislation at the moment of ratification and the constitutional provisions related to the ratification of an international treaty in general in a given Member State. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.