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Death certificates - what you need to know

Jun 23, 2016

Do you know whether you need to sight the deceased? Up to what age or weight should you complete a separate perinatal death certificate? Are you aware of all the circumstances when a death certificate should not be issued?

As a doctor, sometimes you will be asked to provide a death certificate for a patient as their primary carer or for a patient you don’t know or haven’t seen in a while. As procedural requirements for death certificates vary across jurisdictions, it is vital that you know your obligations in your state or territory.

Our new death certificate factsheets outline all your obligations for your state or territory:

These factsheets also include information on who can sign a death certificate, the requirements for cremation and what should be documented on the patient’s medical record. There is also a useful summary of the forms required, the relevant legislation and Coroner’s Court and registry details to help you comply with your responsibilities.

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We welcome your feedback on this article – email the Editor at: editor@avant.org.au