§338-9 Filing and preparation of death and fetal death certificates. (a) The person in charge of the disposition of the body shall file with the department of health in Honolulu or with the local agent of the department of health in the district in which the death or fetal death occurred, or a dead body was found, a certificate of death or fetal death within three days after the occurrence, except that reports of intentional terminations of pregnancy performed in accordance with section 453-16 may be deferred for up to one month.
(b) In preparing a certificate of death or fetal death the person in charge of the disposition of the body shall:
(1) Obtain and enter on the certificate the personal data and other information pertaining to the deceased person required by the department from the person best qualified to supply them;
(2) Present the certificate of death to the physician or advanced practice registered nurse last in attendance upon the deceased, or to the coroner's physician, who shall thereupon certify the cause of death to the physician's or advanced practice registered nurse's best knowledge and belief, or present the certificate of fetal death to the physician, advanced practice registered nurse, midwife, or other person in attendance at the fetal death, who shall certify the fetal death and such medical data pertaining thereto as can be furnished; provided that fetal deaths of less than twenty-four weeks or intentional terminations of pregnancy performed in accordance with section 453-16 may be certified by a nurse or other employee based upon the physician's records; and
(3) Notify immediately the appropriate local agent, if the death occurred without medical attendance, or if the physician or advanced practice registered nurse last in attendance fails to sign the death certificate. In such event the local agent shall inform the local health officer, and refer the case to the local health officer for immediate investigation and certification of the cause of death prior to issuing a permit for burial, or other disposition of the body. When the local health officer is not a physician or when there is no such officer, the local agent may complete the certificate on the basis of information received from relatives of the deceased or others having knowledge of the facts.
If the circumstances of the case suggest that the death or fetal death was caused by other than natural causes, the local agent shall refer the case to the coroner for investigation and certification.
(c) A death certificate may be filed by the next of kin and accepted by the local agent without meeting the requirements set forth above when there has been a judicial finding and declaration by a court of record that a person is dead; provided that the certificate is in a form approved by the department and has been certified by the clerk of court. [L 1949, c 327, §13; am L 1951, c 92, §3; RL 1955, §57-12; am L Sp 1959 2d, c 1, §19; am L 1965, c 113, §1; HRS §338-9; am L 1973, c 17, §6; am L 1975, c 74, §1; am L 1978, c 86, §1; am L 1981, c 113, §3; am L 2016, c 183, §4]