Review of medical certificates of cause of death
Section 12: Action where relevant medical practitioner is unavailable or incapacitated
41.This section deals with the situation where the relevant doctor is unavailable or unable to issue a replacement certificate, for example, when that doctor is unwell. If a medical reviewer is not satisfied as to the cause of death given in the certificate but the relevant doctor is not available or is incapacitated and so could not issue a replacement certificate, the death must be referred to the procurator fiscal for investigation. If there is some other defect in the certificate not related to the cause of death, the medical reviewer can take steps to alert whomever he or she considers appropriate as to what he or she believes to be the relevant information. If the doctor becomes unavailable after a certificate has been referred to the senior medical reviewer, who is not satisfied that the certificate is in order, the senior medical reviewer can take the same actions as the medical reviewer.