An emergency contact is the person(s) an individual identifies by name, address and phone to be contacted in the event of an emergency. The name and contact information alone, however, does not grant legal permission to health care providers to share specific information about the medical incident. Health care privacy is protected by law. Therefore, for doctors to share specific details about the patient’s health, they would need legal permission via a health care power of attorney.
Permission to contact loved ones during your medical emergency can be granted by an emergency contact form or a health care power of attorney. In the case of an emergency contact, because of health privacy laws, doctors could be legally restricted from sharing details about specific health issues.