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State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Connecticut > Title7 > Chap093 > Sec7-62b

      Sec. 7-62b. Death certificates; filing and registration; responsibilities of funeral directors and licensed embalmers; medical certification; burial of person
who died from communicable disease; "presumptive" death certificates; regulations.
(a) A death certificate for each death which occurs in this state shall be completed
in its entirety and filed with the registrar of vital statistics in the town in which the death
occurred no later than five days after death if filing a paper certificate and no later than
three days after death if filing through an electronic death registry system, in order to
obtain a burial permit prior to final disposition. The death certificate shall be registered
if properly filed. If the place of death is unknown but the body is found in this state, the
death certificate shall be completed and filed in accordance with this section, provided
the place where the body is found shall be shown as the place of death.

      (b) The funeral director or embalmer licensed by the department, or the funeral
director or embalmer licensed in another state and complying with the terms of a reciprocal agreement on file with the department, in charge of the burial of the deceased person
shall complete the death certificate on a form provided by the department. Said certificate
shall be filed by a licensed embalmer or such embalmer's designee or a funeral director
or such director's designee, in accordance with the provisions of this section, except
when inquiry is required by the Chief Medical Examiner's Office, in which case the
death certificate shall be filed in accordance with section 19a-409. The Social Security
number of the deceased person shall be recorded on such certificate. Such licensed
funeral director or licensed embalmer shall obtain the personal data from the next of
kin or the best qualified person or source available and shall obtain a medical certification
from the person responsible therefor, in accordance with the provisions of this section.
Only a licensed embalmer may assume charge of the burial of a deceased person who
had a communicable disease, as designated in the Public Health Code, at the time of
death and such licensed embalmer shall file an affidavit, on a form provided by the
department, signed and sworn to by such licensed embalmer stating that the body has
been disinfected in accordance with the Public Health Code.

      (c) The medical certification portion of the death certificate shall be completed,
signed and returned to the licensed funeral director or licensed embalmer no later than
twenty-four hours after death by the physician or advanced practice registered nurse in
charge of the patient's care for the illness or condition which resulted in death, or upon
the death of an infant delivered by a nurse-midwife, by such nurse-midwife, as provided
in section 20-86b. In the absence of such physician or advanced practice registered
nurse, or with the physician's or advanced practice registered nurse's approval, the
medical certification may be completed and signed by an associate physician, an advanced practice registered nurse, a physician assistant as provided in subsection (d) of
section 20-12d, a registered nurse as provided in section 20-101a, the chief medical
officer of the institution in which death occurred, or by the pathologist who performed an
autopsy upon the decedent. No physician, advanced practice registered nurse, physician
assistant, registered nurse, nurse-midwife, chief medical officer or pathologist shall sign
and return the medical certification unless such physician, advanced practice registered
nurse, physician assistant, registered nurse, nurse-midwife, chief medical officer or pathologist has personally viewed and examined the body of the person to whom the
medical certification relates and is satisfied that at the time of the examination such
person was in fact dead, except in the event a medical certification is completed by a
physician, advanced practice registered nurse, physician assistant, registered nurse,
nurse-midwife, chief medical officer or pathologist other than the one who made the
determination and pronouncement of death, an additional viewing and examination of
the body shall not be required. If a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, physician assistant, registered nurse, nurse-midwife, chief medical officer or pathologist refuses or otherwise fails to complete, sign and return the medical portion of the death
certificate to the licensed funeral director or licensed embalmer within twenty-four hours
after death, such licensed funeral director or embalmer may notify the Commissioner
of Public Health of such refusal. The commissioner may, upon receipt of notification and
investigation, assess a civil penalty against such physician, advanced practice registered
nurse, physician assistant, registered nurse, chief medical officer or pathologist not to
exceed two hundred fifty dollars. The medical certification shall state the cause of death,
defined so that such death may be classified under the international list of causes of death,
the duration of disease if known and such additional information as the Department of
Public Health requires. The department shall give due consideration to national uniformity in vital statistics in prescribing the form and content of such information.

      (d) If the cause of death cannot be determined within twenty-four hours after death
and inquiry is not required by the Chief Medical Examiner, the medical certification
may be completed in such manner as may be provided by regulation, adopted by the
Commissioner of Public Health in accordance with chapter 54. The attending physician
or advanced practice registered nurse shall give the licensed funeral director or licensed
embalmer notice of the reason for the delay and final disposition of the body shall not
be made until a signed medical certification is obtained from the attending physician
or advanced practice registered nurse.

      (e) When a death is presumed to have occurred within this state but the body cannot
be located, a death certificate may be prepared by the Chief Medical Examiner upon
receipt of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction, which shall include the finding
of facts required to complete the death certificate. Such death certificate shall be filed
with the Department of Public Health and marked "presumptive" and shall show on its
face the date of filing and shall identify the court and the date of decree.

      (f) The Commissioner of Public Health may by regulation, adopted in accordance
with chapter 54, provide for the extension of time periods prescribed for the filing of
death certificates in cases where compliance therewith would result in undue hardship.

      (P.A. 79-434, S. 6; P.A. 83-299, S. 1, 2; P.A. 92-10; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; June 18 Sp. Sess.
P.A. 97-7, S. 5, 38; P.A. 01-163, S. 22; P.A. 04-221, S. 29; 04-255, S. 5.)

      History: P.A. 83-299 amended Subsec. (c) to allow the commissioner of health services, upon notification from a funeral
director or embalmer, to assess a civil penalty against a physician who fails to complete the medical portion of the death
certificate within 24 hours after death; P.A. 92-10 amended Subsec. (c) by adding an exception for pronouncement of
death by a registered nurse; P.A. 93-381 replaced department and commissioner of health services with department and
commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and
Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July
1, 1995; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7 amended Subsec. (b) by requiring Social Security number of deceased person to be
recorded on death certificate, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 01-163 amended Subsec. (b) by making technical changes and
adding provision re funeral directors or embalmers licensed in another state and complying with reciprocal agreement filed
with the department; P.A. 04-221 amended Subsec. (c) by allowing advanced practice registered nurses or nurse-midwifes
and, under certain circumstances, physician assistants or registered nurses to complete medical certification, and making
conforming and technical changes; P.A. 04-255 amended Subsec. (a) to require death certificate to be completed in its
entirety and add deadlines for filing, amended Subsec. (b) to specify that the certificate shall be filed by embalmer, funeral
director or designee, change requirements applicable when person died of communicable disease to apply when person
had such disease at time of death and change certificate of disinfection to affidavit on department form, amended Subsec.
(c) to allow advanced practice registered nurse to complete, sign and return medical certification and allow advanced
practice registered nurse, physician assistant or registered nurse to complete and sign such certification under certain
circumstances, and made conforming changes throughout.

      See Sec. 20-101a re pronouncement of death by a registered nurse.