To the Editor.
—The study by Drs Messite and Stellman1 emphasized the inaccuracies of death certification and attributes these partly to the lack of adequate training of physicians. However, a more serious flaw in the system was also evident in their study: the very format of the death certificate encourages physicians to list mechanisms of death instead of a cause of death.
Requirements for Letters
Letters will be published at the discretion of the editors as space permits and are subject to editing and abridgment. Letters will be considered if they are typewritten double-spaced and do not exceed 500 words of text and 5 references. Please include a word count. Letters discussing a recent JAMA article should be received within 4 weeks of the article's publication. Letters must not duplicate other material published or submitted for publication. A signed statement for authorship criteria and responsibility, financial disclosure, copyright transfer, and acknowledgment is
Wetli CV. Death Certificate Completion by Physicians. JAMA. 1996;276(4):279-280. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540040023014