Explanatory Notes

Certification of Death (Scotland) Act 2011

2011 asp 11

20 April 2011

Commentary on Sections

Disposal of bodies

Section 26: Certifying medical practitioner to provide additional information

62.This section paves the way for replacing the current death certification system. It amends section 21(2)(a) and section 24(1) of the 1965 Act. These sections provide respectively for a prescribed still-birth certificate and the medical certificate of cause of death. They are amended to allow “any relevant medical information” to be added to the certificates. The purpose of this section is to widen the information that doctors may be required to provide on the still-birth certificate and medical certificate of cause of death. In relation to the latter, for example, this will allow a requirement to be added for certifying doctors to confirm that there are no implants requiring removal before cremation or that the body is not infectious. Medical reviewers will perform this task for bodies returned from outwith Scotland (see section 18). The function of checking for implants is performed by medical referees at crematoria. This role will be abolished with the setting up of the new system.