Can I omit the cause of death on a death certificate if it would distress the patient's relatives?

You must be honest and trustworthy when writing or signing reports and should not deliberately omit relevant information.

If there is information on the death certificate that those close to the patient may not know or may find distressing, you should explain it to them sensitively and answer their questions, taking account of the patient's wishes if they are known.

For more advice, read our guide to signing death certificates and cremation forms.

This page was correct at publication on 14/03/2022. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.