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official, legal document and vital record, signed by a licensed physician or other designated authority, that includes cause of death, decedent's name, gender, place of residence, date of death; other information , for example, birth date, birth place, occupation may be included; the immediate cause of death is recorded on the first line of the certificate, followed by the condition(s) giving rise to this, with the underlying cause on the last line; the underlying cause is coded and tabulated in official publications of mortality.
A document in which the treating doctor certifies the cause of death and
(1) (pre-Shipman Inquiry) informed the registrar of births, marriages and deaths, or reported the case to the Coroner if the death was sudden or unnatural, or for any other reason the cause of death could not be certified;
(2) (post-Shipman Inquiry) informs the medical examiner, or reports the case to the Coroner if the death is sudden or unnatural, or for any other reason the cause of death cannot be certified.
The Harold Shipman case introduced independent medical scrutiny (medical examiner) into death certification in the UK.
A document in which a certifying physician formally states, to the best of his/her knowledge, the immediate, intermediate, and underlying cause(s) of death.
(1a) Direct or immediate cause of death (based on the balance of probability).
(1b) Predisposing factor that led to 1a (optional, but commonly put on the death certificate).
(1c) Predisposing factor that led to 1b (in practice, rarely put on the death certificate).
(2) Any other factor that indirectly contributed to death.