What does Next of Kin mean?

The term ‘Next of Kin’ means your nearest relative or someone that you would like to be contacted in an emergency.

Who could be your Next of Kin?

You should let your Next of Kin know about the decisions about your care that may be taken. Your choice of your Next of Kin should be someone you feel close to, but they do not have to be a blood relative or a spouse. Make sure your next of kin is very clear on what is involved.

What is the role of Next of Kin?

Your next of kin should be willing to act on your behalf if you’re unable to communicate. In the event of death your Next of Kin would also be consulted about issues such as arranging a hospital post-mortem or organ/tissue donation. Be aware that Next of Kin cannot consent to providing or withholding care.

What is the legal status of Next of Kin?

You might be surprised to know that the term Next of Kin doesn’t actually have any legal meaning. This means that your Next of Kin cannot give consent for providing or withholding care.

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