The rights of family members and/or other close persons

Adult patients are entitled to participate in the planning and implementation of their care. They also have the right to decide who may receive information about their health status and care.

When a patient is unable to make decisions about their treatment, consent for major operations must be given by the patient's legal representative, close relative, or other close person. This person is entitled to receive any information regarding the patient's state of health that is required to enable them to give their consent. Persons who are authorised to give their consent are not entitled to refuse treatment necessary to avert risks posing a threat to the patient's life or health. If the patient's previously expressed wishes can be reliably determined by a living will, for example, they shall be obeyed.

Under-age patients capable of making decisions about their treatment have the right to deny disclosure of information about their health status and treatment to guardians or other legal representatives. The developmental level of a child or adolescent is determined by a physician or other skilled professional.

The family members of a deceased person are entitled to receive information related to the  health and medical care of the deceased when these are required to clarify or exercise important benefits or rights and when there is no reason to suspect that the deceased has denied disclosure of information. Thus, family members do not have unlimited access to the patient records of the deceased and need a valid reason for requesting this information.