Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Death Certificate Education (Arizona)

Death Certificate Education (Arizona) – http://www.azbn.gov/DeathCertificates.aspx

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • Who is allowed to complete the “cause of death” box on a death certificate?
  • What should one do when they are unsure of the cause of death?
  • Where can I find some case histories with filled out death certificates?
  • When must a death on the operating table be reported in Arizona?
  • What procedures are followed in Arizona in cases of fetal death?


This is a continuing education module for nurse practitioners. It links to the following resources, among others:

  • Physicians’ Handbook on Medical Certification of Death (PDF) – From the National Center for Health Statistics, (PHS) 87-1108. 36 pp. (Reprinted 2003)
  • Instructions for Completing the Cause-of-Death Section of the Death Certificate (PDF)
  • Completing the Cause of Death Section of the Arizona Death Certificate (PDF)
  • Reporting Surgical Deaths (PDF)
  • Fetal Death Processing: Part I, II, IV & Fetal Fields to Remember (PDF’s)
  • Possible Solutions to Common Problems in Death Certification
  • Tutorial from the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME)

Story Idea:

If you’re looking for plausible end of life scenarios, check out the 13 “case studies” in Physicians’ Handbook on Medical Certification of Death. They are about a paragraph long and cover the period from hospitalization through death.

NOTE: Death Certificate procedures may vary by state. 


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