HC Deb 12 February 1993 vol 218 cc823-4W
Mr. Hinchliffe

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines are issued for the completion of death certificates in cases where the actual cause of death is as a result of a long illness, in order to identify the illness contributing to, and indirectly the cause of, death.

Mr. Sackville

Medical certificates of cause of death are required to be completed by a registered medical practitioner. The form of the certificate is prescribed and is in the internationally agreed format which is designed to identify an underlying cause for all recorded deaths, except where the deceased is aged under 28 days. In addition, the certifier may record other significant conditions contributing to the death but which are not related to the disease or condition causing it.

Guidelines relating to their completion accompany the death certificates and are supplied to registered medical practitioners. Specimen copies have been placed in the Library and are available to interested parties on request.