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Subjects close to patients were granted access to the medical secrecy

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published on 8 September 2021 | reading time approx. 2 minutes

On 2 July 2021 the majority of provisions of Federal Law no. 315-FZ of the 2 July 2021 introducing amendments to the Federal Law “On the fundamentals of the health care provided to Russian nationals” has entered into force, according to which close relatives and other persons will be able to get access to information concerning the patient’s condition of health, including the medical secrecy, both during the patient’s lifetime and after his/her death. 

In the past, it was quite complicated to get the information mentioned above, since no such right was clearly set forth in the legislation. In particular, healthcare organizations often demanded from persons interested in getting information concerning the patient’s condition of health additional confirmations of their rights to access such information. Furthermore, it was not rare that healthcare organizations tried to prevent the above mentioned persons from obtaining the requested documentation or to delay the information procedure if these persons raised claims against them.
Now the law grants to the patient’s spouse and his/her close relatives (such as children, parents, adopted children, adoptive parents, siblings, grandchildren, grandparents according to the document) the right to get information concerning the patient’s condition of health. Moreover, other persons specified by the patient or his/her legal representative in the written consent with the disclosure of information constituent medical secrecy or in the informed voluntary consent with medical treatment are entitled to get such information too.

The patient’s spouse, close relatives as well as other persons specified in the above mentioned consents will be able to get medical documents concerning the patient’s condition of health, copies of them and extracts from them, including electronic documents. It will also be possible to get such information after the patient’s death, if the patient or his/her legal representative has not prohibited to provide such documents to these persons. However, no requirements for the form of such prohibition are stipulated by the law.

This law was adopted in accordance with Decree no. 1-P of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation of 13 January 2020 stipulating the obligation for healthcare organizations to provide medical documents to spouses, close relatives of a dead patient and to persons mentioned in his/her informed voluntary consent with medical treatment.

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