Death Certificate: A State Vital Record

A sample of certified certificate of death

Death certificates are a necessary source of information concerning a departed person’s illness mortality, prevalence, and incidence. It referred to as either to a documentation provided by a medical practitioner accrediting the departed condition of an individual or, generally, to a file released by an expert such as a registrar of vital statistics that acknowledges the date, area and basis of a person’s demise as later on registered in an official register of deaths.

Right before releasing a death certificate, the authorities request a certificate from a doctor to validate the caused of death and the identification of the dearly departed person. It would be automatically an unlawful act and a reason for the loss of one’s license to practice if the medical professional neglected to present the essential form to the government promptly. Because of previous concerns in which deceased people continued to receive public benefits or still votes on elections, this is.

A dead body in the morgue with a tag on their feet

Purpose of Death Certificate

Each governmental jurisdiction in every country accredits the form of the record for use essential to legally produce it.

One purpose of the certificate is to review the cause of death to figure out if there’s any foul-play happened as it can dismiss an accidental death or a murder going by the results and ruling of the medical examiner. Death certificates are used in public health to consolidate data on well-known causes of death among other statistics.

Arranging in both burial or cremation needs this vital record before the process will start. Immediate family or legal next of kin relatives usually are the ones who will accomplish in obtaining the death certificate. But with the improvement of services of cremation provider and funeral homes, this process are often done on your behalf. 

Death Certificate as a Public Document

In most of the states in the US, death certificates are also considered public domain documentation and can, therefore, be gotten for any person in spite of the requester’s relationship to the dearly departed.

Some other states take a different perspective and restrict the concern of the death records. In New York, death certificates are only available by close relatives, including the husband or wife, father, and mother, children or brother or sister of the person who passed away, and other persons who have a documented lawful right or claim documented medical need, or a New York State Court Order.

Here in Arizona, on the other hand, we are one of the “closed record” states. That means vital records are not open to the public in order to protect the confidentiality rights of its citizens. 

In our state, you need to be 18 years and older before you can obtain a death certificate. In addition, Arizona has specific people who can only request for this vital record from their state office. In the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) website, the requirements, and list of people who are eligible to request for the certificate.

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