OHIO - DEATH CERTIFICATES

March 27, 2008

Ohio state laws and regulations that affect your medical practice

1. What criteria may a physician use to declare a pronouncement of death?

An individual is dead if he has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the brain, including the brain stem, as determined in accordance with accepted medical standards.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2108.30

2. What are a physician’s responsibilities related to death certificates?

The funeral director must register every death with the local registrar of vital statistics of the district in which the death occurred.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3705.16

The medical certificate of death shall be completed and signed by the physician who attended the individual prior to death. Id. For a fetal death, the physician must report whether approved tests for syphilis and gonorrhea were taken from the mother prior to birth.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3701.46

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Updated 2008