Administrative Code

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 550. Board of Health Regulations Governing Vital Records
5/22/2024

12VAC5-550-350. A proper and complete medical certification of cause of death defined.

A complete and properly executed medical certification of cause of death shall mean the entry by a physician or medical examiner of a definite medical diagnosis of the underlying cause of death and related conditions following the instructions indicated on the death certificate. This may be variously:

1. Supported by clinical findings of the physician who attended the deceased for the illness or condition that resulted in death;

2. Supported by tentative clinical findings that may or may not be supported by the gross findings of an autopsy; or

3. Supported by autopsy findings where necessary to establish a definite medical diagnosis of cause of death.

In cases where an autopsy is to be performed, the physician or medical examiner shall not defer the entry of the cause of death pending a full report of microscopic and toxicological studies. In any case where the autopsy findings significantly change the medical diagnosis of cause of death, a supplemental report of the cause of death shall be made by the physician or medical examiner to the registrar as soon as the findings are available. (As examples: If it is clear that a patient dies of "cancer of the stomach," report the cause while a determination of the histological type is being carried out. Similarly, if it is clear that a death is from "influenza," do not delay the medical certification while a laboratory test is being carried out to determine the strain).

Statutory Authority

§ 32.1-273 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-29-100 § 10.1, eff. April 1, 1995.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.