Contents

Chapter 5
An online process for certifying cause of death

Verification of identity

5.10The online death certification process should provide three fields in the identification section. The first field should state the name of the deceased person if that is known. It is obviously a mandatory requirement and should be completed by whoever initiates the record. The second field should provide space to describe the evidence for determining the name of the deceased person (for example, the driver licence was found in the deceased person’s pocket, the deceased was wearing a hospital identification wrist band or a person identifying herself as the deceased person’s mother identified the body for the Police). There should be space for more than one answer in the second field.

5.11The third field should provide space for a doctor (usually the doctor who certifies the cause of death) or other authorised person to certify that the identity of the body has been ascertained. This certification should be a prerequisite to disposal of the deceased body.42 If the person certifying identity considers that there is any doubt as to identity, they must refer the death to the Police.

Recommendations

R4The online death certification process should have a section for verification of the identity of the body including the evidence for that verification.

R5The statute should require that a deceased body may not be disposed of unless a doctor or other authorised person has certified that the identity of the deceased has been adequately determined. If the doctor or authorised person considers the body is not adequately identified, they must refer the death to the Police.

42The second prerequisite is that the cause of death has been certified.