Completing a Medical Certificate Cause Of Death
The purpose of a Medical Certificate Cause of Death (MCCD) is to notify the Registrar of Births Deaths & Marriages (BDM) and the funeral director (or other person arranging disposal of the deceased's body) of a death and the cause of that death.
Two different forms are available:
(1) for persons 28 days and older
(2) for children under 28 days and still-births (perinatal deaths)
It is a requirement that a MCCD must be;
- completed by a registered medical practitioner (i.e. registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - AHPRA)
- submitted to the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages (BDM) within 48 hours of the death
- used in relation to a death that is not reviewable or reportable to a coroner, as specified in section 10 or section 13 of the Coroners Act 2008.
In any situation where a medical practitioner is unsure whether they are required to report a death to a coroner they should contact the Coroners Court on 1300 309 519.
Completion of the online Medical Certificate Cause of Death (eMCCD) and the Medical Certificate Cause of Perinatal Death (eMCCPD) is achieved through the Medical Practitioner Online (MPO) portal of the Births Deaths & Marriages (BDM) website. Access to the portal can be made through the following link http://www.bdm.vic.gov.au/home/medical+practitioners+online or via the shortcuts within the Alfred Deceased Persons Resource webpage. Guidelines for completing the form are available from the BDM website.
A copy of the eMCCD or eMCCPD must be printed and signed by the medical practitioner as part of the registration process. A signed copy is required by the funeral director on collection of the deceased. Legislation governing the operation of Cemeteries and Crematoria in Victoria mandates a signed copy of a MCCD must be provided to a Cemetery or Crematoria before internment or cremation can occur.
Completing a death certificate can often be a difficult and confusing task with errors frequently made in differentiating antecedent and related conditions. The Australian Bureau of Statistics produces two helpful reference guides for doctors that lists both common problems and useful information to assist in accurate completion of death certificates. These guides can be accessed via the the document links below
ABS Cause of Death Certification Booklet
ABS Cause of Death Certification - Quck Reference Guide