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Issue a death certificate

Doctors in private practice as well as doctors in the emergency and rescue service must carry out the post-mortem examination and issue the death certificate. This also applies to doctors in hospitals and comparable institutions for those who died there. Public health officers of the competent lower health authority are to be consulted on a subordinate basis.

The doctor verifies the identity of the deceased, examines the body and determines the death, the time, the nature and cause of the death. If there are indications of a non-natural death (e.g. in the event of an accident, suspicion of third-party influence), the police or the public prosecutor's office must be notified.

The costs of issuing the death certificate must be paid by the person liable to bear the costs (usually relatives); they are based on the scale of fees for physicians (GOÄ).

The responsible person must notify a doctor who will carry out the post-mortem examination and issue the death certificate without delay, i.e. without undue delay. The obligation can also be fulfilled by notifying the police. If the post-mortem examination reveals indications of an unnatural death, the doctor must immediately notify the police or the public prosecutor's office.

  • Death of a person.
  • Immediate notification of a doctor or the police.

On the basis of the Lower Saxony Funeral Act (BestattG) and the Death Certificate Ordinance (TbVO), a binding sample/form is provided on the basis of which the death certificate, which is divided into a confidential and a non-confidential part, as well as the provisional death certificate are to be issued.

The amount of the cost of the death certificate is based on the scale of fees for doctors (GOÄ).

Note (for further information on the deadline): The doctor who performs the post-mortem examination and issues the death certificate must be notified immediately.

In the event of a non-natural death, the doctor must immediately notify the police or the public prosecutor's office.

For a stillbirth, electronic transmission is not possible at the current time. In this case, the paper form of the death certificate must be used.

Lower Saxony Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Equality, - Department 405 – Legal Affairs in Health Care


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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Bernd Otten (Datenschutzbeauftragter)
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