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Article
July 24, 1996

Death Certificate Completion by Physicians

Author Affiliations

Chief Medical Examiner Suffolk County, New York

JAMA. 1996;276(4):279-280. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540040023014
Abstract

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.

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