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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Death certificates myth exploded

The problem with myths is that if they are repeated often enough people believe they are true. The article on dealing with your first death (Pulse Registrar, June 9) stated they 'must be reported if the doctor has not seen the patient within the last 14 days'. This is not true ­ it is a myth!

To sign a death certificate, the doctor must have been in medical attendance during the last illness, feel able to sign a death certificate on their knowledge of the patient and either have seen the patient within 14 days or have seen the patient after death.

Surely nobody would refer a patient who was seen at the practice CHD clinical four weeks before, who developed sudden crushing central chest pain but, unfortunately, died before the ambulance arrived. I know in our area if this was referred, the coroner's office would send it straight back.

Dr Nigel Wood


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