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Death Certificates

Completion of death certificates is an incredibly important process, both from a clinical perspective regarding accurately documenting cause of death, but it also has significant medico-legal and insurance implications, in addition to preventing/delaying the release of a patients remains to the family from the morgue if the death certificate is not completed, or completed incorrectly.

The process of certification of death is a part of the patients medical journey and is very important for providing closure to the family as well.

Included below are two videos, one explaining the process of certification of a deceased patient with tips/techniques to undertake this with care, compassion and respect.  The second video covers the nuts and bolts of completing a death certificate, which can be a complicated and confusing process.

While a JMO can complete the 'deceased persons checklist', which essentially states that the patient has died, and also the 'death certificate', it is usually appropriate to complete the deceased persons checklist even if you aren't familiar with the patient (e.g. overnight), but to leave completion of the death certificate to the treating team, who are more familiar with the patient.

Completing Death Certificates

Certifying the Deceased Patient

Deceased Persons Checklist

'When Death Occurs'
Inpatient Flowchart

Death Certificate - Cheat Sheet

'Providing Care After Death'
Standard Operating Procedure

Sample Death Certificate

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