Death_certificate by zzzmarcus


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Death certificate

Death certificate
and to fill out the appropriate documentation. The failure of a physician to immediately submit the required form to the government (to trigger issuance of the death certificate) is often both a crime and cause for loss of one’s license to practice. This is because of past scandals in which dead people continued to receive public benefits or voted in elections.[1] Death certificates may also be issued pursuant to a court order or an executive order in the case of individuals who have been declared dead in absentia. Missing persons and victims of mass disasters (such as the sinking of the RMS Lusitania) may be issued death certificates in one of these manners. In some jurisdictions, a police officer or a paramedic may be allowed to sign a death certificate under specific circumstances. This is usually when the cause of death seems obvious and no foul play is suspected, such as in extreme old age. In such cases, an autopsy is rarely performed. This varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; in some areas police officers may sign death certificates for victims of SIDS, but in others all deaths of individuals under 18 must be certified by a physician. Accident deaths where there is no chance of survival (decapitations, for instance) may be certified by police or paramedics, but autopsies are still commonly performed if there is any chance that alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident.

Eddie August Schneider (1911-1940) death certificate, from autopsy. A death certificate, sometimes medical certificate of the cause of death (MCCD), is a document issued by a government official such as a registrar of vital statistics that declares the date, location and cause of a person’s death.

Nature of a certificate
Each governmental jurisdiction prescribes the form of the document for use in its preview and the procedures necessary to legally produce it. One purpose of the certificate is to review the cause of death to determine if foul-play occurred it also can rule out an accidental death or a murder going by the findings and ruling of the medical examiner. It may also be required in order to arrange a burial or cremation, to prove a person’s will or to claim on a person’s life insurance. Before issuing a death certificate, the authorities usually require a certificate from a physician or coroner to validate the cause of death and the identity of the deceased. In cases where it is not completely clear that a person is dead (usually because their body is being sustained by life support), a neurologist is often called in to verify brain death

The Shipman case
In the United Kingdom, in 2000, the mass-murderer Doctor Harold Shipman was found to have issued false medical certificates of death, which resulted in death certificates being issued for his victims, without the suspicious circumstances of their deaths coming to light. Following the public enquiry into that case, all medical certificates of death (except those issued in respect of individuals dead in absentia) must now be validated by an independent medical examiner.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Death certificate

Public documents
In the United States and the United Kingdom, death certificates are considered public domain documents and can therefore be obtained for any individual regardless of the requester’s relationship to the deceased. Other jurisdictions take a different view, and restrict the issue of certificates. In the United States, certificates issued to the general public for deaths after 1990 may in some states be redacted to erase the specific cause of death (in cases where death was from natural causes) to comply with HIV confidentiality rules. In New York State, for instance, the cause of death on a general death certificate is only specified if death was accidental, homicide, suicide, or declared in absentia; all other deaths are only referred to as "natural". All states have provisions, however, whereby immediate family members, law enforcement agencies, and governmental authorities (such as occupational health and safety groups) are able to obtain death certificates containing the full cause of death, even in cases of natural death.

United Kingdom
Since 1927, Stillbirths (beyond 24 weeks gestation) have been registered separately, in a register that is closed from public access. A single stillbirth registration takes the place of both birth and death registration for the stillborn infant. Prior to 1960 such certificates gave no cause of death. Stillbirth certificates can only be ordered by the mother or father of the deceased contacting the General Register Office by phone or letter. In the event of the parents both having died, a sibling can order the certificate if they can provide the dates of death for both parents.

United States
A 2007 article in People magazine revealed that in the case of a stillbirth it is not standard practice to issue both a birth certificate and a death certificate.

See also
• • • • Birth certificate Marriage license Marriage certificate Mortality Medical Data System (MMDS)

Specific jurisdictions
United Kingdom
Registration in the UK is organised separately in the constituent countries, and also in all crown possessions.

[1] Dead People Voting through Florida

England and Wales
In England and Wales, registration of deaths began in 1837. The death certificate lists when and where a person died, the name and surname, sex, date of birth (or age on older certificates), occupation, address, cause of death, as well as information about the person who reported the death. Beginning in 1874, a doctor’s certificate was necessary for the issuance of a death certificate (prior to that, no cause of death needed to be given).

External links
• Mortality Data from the U.S. National Vital Statistics System - See Methods Data collection - for copies of death certificates and how to fill them. • Magrane BP, Gilliland MGF, and King DE. Certification of Death by Family Physicians. American Family Physician 1997 Oct 1;56(5):1433-8. PMID 9337765 • Swain GR, Ward GK, Hartlaub PP. Death certificates: Let’s get it right. American Family Physician February 15, 2005 PMID 15742904 • Online Death Indexes and Records lists some online death certificate indexes • Where to Write for Vital Records (including Death Certificates) from the National Center for Health Statistics

Registration began in 1855. Certificates are rather more detailed than in England and Wales. For example, the maiden surname is always given for females.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Death certificate

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