Report Title:

Registration of Vital Statistics

Description:

Streamlines the process of registering death events. (SB1356 HD1)

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1356

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 1


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO REGISTRATION OF VITAL STATISTICS.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Chapter 338, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"338-   Compulsory report of fetal deaths and intentional terminations of pregnancy. A report of every fetal death or intentional termination of pregnancy performed in accordance with section 453-16 shall be substantially completed and filed with, and in the form and manner prescribed by, the department of health within thirty days after the fetal death occurred or intentional termination of pregnancy was performed, by the administrator or designated representative of the birthing facility, or physician, or midwife, or other legally authorized person in attendance at the fetal death; or if not so attended, by one of the parents; or a nurse or other employee based upon the physician's records for an intentional termination of pregnancy."

SECTION 2. Section 338-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending the definition of "fetal death" to read as follows:

""Fetal death" is death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception, [irrespective of the duration of pregnancy,] of twenty completed weeks gestation or more, calculated from the date on which the last normal menstrual period began to the date of delivery that did not, after complete separation from the mother, breathe or show any other evidence of life such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or movement of voluntary muscle."

SECTION 3. Section 338-8, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"338-8 Compulsory registration of deaths [and fetal deaths]. A certificate of every death [or fetal death] shall be filed with, and in the form and manner prescribed by, 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] within three days after the death [or fetal death] occurred or the dead body was found. In every instance, a certificate shall be filed prior to interment or other disposition of the body."

SECTION 4. Section 338-9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"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, and in the form and manner prescribed by, 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,] the personal data and other information pertaining to the deceased person required by the department of health to be contained in a certificate of death [or fetal death], which shall be obtained from the person best qualified to supply them, 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.] death occurred, or a dead body was found.

(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] The physician last in attendance upon the deceased, or [to] the coroner's physician, [who] shall [thereupon] certify the cause of death to the physician's best knowledge and belief, [or present the certificate of fetal death to the physician, 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 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.] and file the

certification data and other medical information required by the department of health to be contained in a death certificate with, and in the form and manner prescribed by, the department of health within three days after the death occurred, or a dead body was found.

(c) If the circumstances of the case suggest that the death [or fetal death] was caused by other than natural causes, the [local agent] person in charge of the disposition of the body or the physician last in attendance upon the deceased shall refer the case to the coroner for investigation and certification.

[(c)] (d) A death certificate may be prepared and filed with, in the form and manner prescribed by, the department of health, 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]."

SECTION 5. Section 338-10, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"338-10 Late determination of the cause of death. If the cause of death cannot be determined within three days, the certification of its cause may be filed after the prescribed period, but the attending physician or coroner's physician shall notify [in writing the local agent of] the department of health [of the district in which the death occurred], in the form and manner prescribed by the department, of the reason for late filing, in order that a permit for the disposition of the body may be issued.

As used in this section, "late" means more than three days after the date of death."

SECTION 6. Section 338-25, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"338-25 Prerequisite for permit. No permit under section 338-23 shall be issued until a certificate of death or report of fetal death, as far as it can be completed under the circumstances of the case, has been filed and until all the [regulations] rules of the department of health in respect to the issuance of [such] the permit have been complied with."

SECTION 7. Section 338-29.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"338-29.5 Late registration of death[, fetal death,] or marriage[, and divorce]. (a) When a death[, fetal death,] or marriage[, or divorce] occurring in this State has not been registered, a certificate may be filed in accordance with rules adopted by the department of health. The certificate shall be registered subject to any evidentiary requirements that the department adopts by rule to substantiate the alleged facts of death[, fetal death,] or marriage[, or divorce].

(b) Certificates of death[, fetal death,] or marriage[, or divorce] registered one year or more after the date of occurrence shall be marked "late" and shall show on the face the date of the late registration.

(c) As used in this section, "late" means one year or more after the date of the death[, fetal death,] or marriage[, or divorce]."

SECTION 8. Section 841-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) [Upon receipt of a certificate of death from the person in charge of the disposition of the body, the] The coroner's physician shall [thereupon] state the name of the disease or condition directly leading to the death; other significant conditions contributing to the death; day on which the death occurred; and such other information as may be required on the certificate of death by section 338-9(b) or the director of health in order to classify the death[.], and shall file the data in the form and manner prescribed by the department of health. The [local agent of the] department of health shall be notified [in writing of the reason for the delay,] as required by section 338-10 if the cause of death cannot be determined within three days."

SECTION 9. Section 841-8, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"841-8 Duty to forward copy of reports to any county or prosecuting attorney [and to person in charge of disposition of body. (a)]. Every coroner, or deputy coroner, shall, without delay, forward to the county attorney in the case of coroners for the counties of Maui and Kauai, and the prosecuting attorney in the case of coroners for the city and county of Honolulu and the county of Hawaii, a true and correct copy of the inquisition.

[(b) The coroner's physician shall, in addition, make available without delay the death certificate of the person whose death was investigated to the person in charge of the disposition of the body so that the person in charge may file the death certificate with the local agent of the department of health as required by section 338-9.]"

SECTION 10. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed

and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 11. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2004.