Disclosing patient information to close relatives

Patient information can only be disclosed to family members if permission has been granted by the patient. If the patient's condition, for example, prevents giving such permission, patient information can be disclosed to close family when there is no reason to suspect the patient would disagree.

According to the Act on the Status and Rights of Patients, close family includes the patient's spouse, children, parents and siblings. Other close family members may include a person living permanently with the patient (e.g. common-law spouse). HUS recommends that the patient's close family agree amongst themselves who will contact the hospital to ask about the patient's condition, discharge from hospital, etc. and then deliver the information to others.