3705.16 Statement of facts in certificates - death certificate.

(A) For purposes of this section notwithstanding section 3705.01 of the Revised Code, "fetal death" does not include death of the product of human conception prior to twenty weeks of gestation.

(B) Each death or fetal death that occurs in this state shall be registered with the local registrar of vital statistics of the district in which the death or fetal death occurred, by the funeral director or other person in charge of the final disposition of the remains. The personal and statistical information in the death or fetal death certificate shall be obtained from the best qualified persons or sources available, by the funeral director or other person in charge of the final disposition of the remains. The statement of facts relating to the disposition of the body and information relative to the armed services referred to in section 3705.19 of the Revised Code shall be signed by the funeral director or other person in charge of the final disposition of the remains.

(C) The funeral director or other person in charge of the final disposition of the remains shall present the death or fetal death certificate to the attending physician of the decedent, the coroner, or the medical examiner, as appropriate for certification of the cause of death. If a death or fetal death occurs under any circumstances mentioned in section 313.12 of the Revised Code, the coroner in the county in which the death occurs, or a deputy coroner, medical examiner, or deputy medical examiner serving in an equivalent capacity, shall certify the cause of death unless that death was reported to the coroner, deputy coroner, medical examiner, or deputy medical examiner and that person, after a preliminary examination, declined to assert jurisdiction with respect to the death or fetal death. A physician other than the coroner in the county in which a death or fetal death occurs, or a deputy coroner, medical examiner, or deputy medical examiner serving in an equivalent capacity, may certify only those deaths that occur under natural circumstances.

The medical certificate of death shall be completed and signed by the physician who attended the decedent or by the coroner or medical examiner, as appropriate, within forty-eight hours after the death or fetal death. A coroner or medical examiner may satisfy the requirement of signing a medical certificate showing the cause of death or fetal death as pending either by stamping it with a stamp of the coroner's or medical examiner's signature or by signing it in the coroner's or medical examiner's own hand, but the coroner or medical examiner shall sign any other medical certificate of death or supplementary medical certification in the coroner's or medical examiner's own hand.

(D) Any death certificate registered pursuant to this section shall contain the social security number of the decedent, if available. A social security number obtained under this section is a public record under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 3705.16

History. Effective Date: 01-01-1998; 08-17-2006; 2008 SB175 09-12-2008