When you are admitted to the hospital, you will be asked who your contact person is and how we can reach them in case unexpected situations arise. In most cases, the phone number of a partner or one of the children is listed.
No medical information is provided to a contact person, but they may inquire, for example, whether you have returned to your room after a scheduled surgical procedure.
If you have multiple contacts, we ask that they coordinate among themselves and for one person to contact the nursing unit.
As a patient you have the right to be informed about your health condition. You may be assisted in this process by a trusted person, whom you yourself can designate. This can be the same person as the contact person, but it may also be somebody else You can also designate a close friend as your trusted person.
You can designate your trusted person by using the sample document. It is best to bring this document with you when you are admitted.
A trusted person can help listen to the doctor's explanations, may ask for explanations about your health situation, treatment options, and may request access to your patient record. They also have the right to file a complaint with the Ombuds Department if you are dissatisfied with your hospital experience.
However, a trusted person cannot make any decisions about your health on your behalf.
As part of a living will for euthanasia in case of an irreversible coma, a trusted person is designated as well. This person has a different task than the one described above. This person will ensure that the document containing your living will is given to your physician, at the time when you are no longer able to do so yourself. They have no other responsibilities and have no authority to make decisions.
You may find yourself in a situation where you are unable to make your own decisions about your treatment. This is called being "incapacitated’. This may be temporary, such as during anaesthesia before a surgical procedure or for a short period of time after an accident. This can also be permanent, such as after a severe brain injury. To ensure that medical decisions are made in accordance with your wishes, you can appoint a representative. In this way, a representative can make decisions about your health care on your behalf. They do not have to be a family member. It is best to designate someone who is well informed about your expectations, your vision , someone you trust to have a talk with your physician about your wishes. You can use the sample form. and also brings it with you when you are admitted to the hospital.
It is helpful to provide this document to your GP as well.
If you have not designated a representative and find yourself in a situation of incapacity, the law states that you will be represented in a descending line by:
- a cohabiting spouse, legal cohabitant or de facto cohabitant
- an adult child
- a parent
- an adult brother or sister
If there is no legal representative or there is a conflict between the legal representatives, the attending physician will represent your interests in consultation with their colleagues.
The same applies when there is a strong suspicion that the legal representative is not acting in the best interest of the incapacitated patient.