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Medical Certification of Cause of Death

Rodrigues EJ, Sapeco SD, Ghodkirekar MG

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Offence and penalties related to Death Registration.

Any medical practitioner who neglects or refuses to issue a certificate of cause of death and any person who neglects or refuses to deliver such certificate shall be punishable with a fine not exceeding Rs 50.00 In all other cases a person who contravenes any provision of the act is also punishable with affine not exceeding Rs 10.00

Any person is punishable with a fine not exceeding Rs 50.00 if he (a) fails to give information (b) gives or cause to any information which he knows or believes to false regarding any of the particulars required to be known and register or © refuse to write his name, description and place of abode or put his thumb mark in the register.


It is legal as well as ethical responsibility of doctor to issue medical certificate of cause of death, which he or she has attended.

The ethical responsibility of a doctor would contribute towards development related to medicine. The correct medical certificate of cause of death will help in establishing existence of a medical problem in an area for which central measures can be initiated. There may not be scientifically established co relations between several distinct medical conditions till date. But such correlations can be established through research work based on long term data provided through practice of death registration.

In a nutshell awareness amongst the medical practitioners regarding uniform standard in medical certification of cause of death based on International Classification of Diseases ICD recommended by World Health Organization WHO should be created all over India to implement Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1969 in its true spirit.


  1. Physicians Manual on Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, Vital statistics division office of Registrar General India Ministry of Home affairs New Delhi
  2. Modi’s Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology, Dr CA Franklin
  3. Brodrick Report 1971 HM Stationery Office London
  4. Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969
  5. Parikh’s text book of Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology CK Parikh

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