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Death Certificates

Death Certificates

English law:

  • does not require a doctor to confirm death has occurred or that “life is extinct”
  • does not require a doctor to view the body of a deceased person
  • does not require a doctor to report the fact that death has occurred
  • does require the doctor who attended the deceased during the last illness to issue a certificate detailing the cause of death

Legal requirements

  • The law requires a doctor to notify the cause of death of any patient whom he or she has attended during that patient’s last illness to the Registrar of Births and Deaths. The doctor is required to notify the cause of death as a certificate, on a form prescribed, stating to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, the cause of death.
  • It should be noted that the strict interpretation of the law is that the doctor shall notify the cause of death, not the fact.

For more information please visit the BMA’s guidance 


Preston Office

Consortium of Local Medical Committees
Ambulance Headquarters
449-451 Garstang Road

Tel: 01772 863806


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