Next of kin

Who is the next of kin?

This is a person of legal age, designated by the patient in advance (family member, friend, neighbor, general practicioner, etc.) to receive medical information and report the patient’s wishes if he or she is unable to express his or her wishes. It is important that this person be able to have in-depth discussions with the patient in order to best carry out the patient’s wishes, since he or she will be speaking on behalf of the patient and not in a personal capacity. This designation is formal and must be made in writing, on plain paper or on the form provided by the service. The designation document must include the contact information for the support person and the signature of both the patient and the designated support person. The trusted support person may have a copy of the advance directive to use when appropriate. The designation of the trusted support person can be reviewed and revoked at any time.

What if there is no formally designated next of kin?

The health care team will ask you to designate a reference person among the people who will visit the patient. This person will receive the main information concerning the patient and will act as a relay between the care team and the relatives. The referral person has no particular status from a legal point of view, but he or she is a valuable reference point for caregivers.

Remember to give this person’s contact information to the health care team on the first day, so they can reach them in case of an emergency. You can contact the caregivers for news by phone at any time, 24 hours a day. However, for reasons of professional secrecy, sensitive medical information will only be delivered on site. The care team remains at your disposal to meet you and give you all the explanations you may need. Learn more about the visits.