FLORIDA - DEATH CERTIFICATES

January 1, 2008

Florida state laws and regulations that affect your medical practice

1. When may a physician declare a pronouncement of death, based upon traditional cardio-respiratory criteria?

A cardiopulmonary definition of death has been accepted by Florida courts as a matter of common law. If cardiopulmonary function is not being maintained artificially, a person is dead who has sustained irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions as determined in accordance with accepted medical standards.

In re T.A.C.P., 609 So. 2d 588 (1992)

Where respiratory and circulatory functions are maintained by artificial means of support so as to preclude a determination that these functions have ceased, the occurrence of death may be determined where there is the irreversible cessation of the entire brain, including the brain stem. Determination of death shall be made by two licensed physicians. One physician shall be the treating physician and the other shall be a board-eligible or board-certified neurologist, neurosurgeon, internist, pediatrician, surgeon or anesthesiologist.

F.S.A. § 382.009

Copyright Kern Augustine Conroy and Schoppmann, P.C. Used with permission.