|BILL AS INTRODUCED||2007-2008|
Introduced by Senator Carris of Rutland District
Subject: Death certificates; confidentiality; cause of death; Social Security number
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to restrict public access to information contained on a death certificate, such as the decedent’s cause of death and Social Security number, except that the commissioner of health may permit access to such information, provided the person making the request establishes good cause for disclosure.
AN ACT RELATING TO DEATH CERTIFICATES
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 18 V.S.A. § 5008a is added to read:
§ 5008a. DEATH CERTIFICATES; CONFIDENTIALITY; DISCLOSURES
(a) Within seven days after the date of death, the town clerk shall send the original death certificate to the department of health and retain a redacted copy that does not include the decedent’s cause of death or Social Security number.
(b) Neither the town clerk nor the department of health shall permit public access to death certificates containing the decedent’s cause of death and Social Security number, except that the commissioner of health, upon request, may disclose such confidential information provided the person making the request establishes good cause for the requested disclosure. If good cause is shown, the commissioner shall release a certified copy of the requested death certificate only to the individual making the request and shall record the disclosure with the decedent’s original death certificate.
Sec. 2. 18 V.S.A. § 5202a is amended to read:
§ 5202a. CORRECTION OF DEATH CERTIFICATE
months seven days after the date of death, the town clerk
may correct or complete a death certificate upon application by the certifying
physician, medical examiner, hospital, nursing home, or funeral
director. The town clerk may correct or complete the certificate accordingly
and shall certify thereon that such correction or completion was made pursuant
to this section, with the date thereof. In his or her discretion, the
town clerk may refuse an application for correction or completion, in which
case, the applicant may petition the probate court for such correction or
six months seven days from the date
of death a death certificate may only be corrected or amended pursuant to
decree of the probate court in which district the original
certificate is filed death occurred.
probate court to which such application is made shall set a time for hearing
thereon and, if such court deems necessary, cause notice of the time and place
thereof to be given by posting the same in the probate court office and, after
hearing, shall make such findings, with respect to the correction of such death
certificate as are supported by the evidence. The court shall thereupon issue
a decree setting forth the facts as found, and transmit a certified copy of
such decree to the supervisor of vital records registration. The supervisor of
vital records registration shall
transmit the same to the
appropriate town clerk to amend the original or issue a new
certificate and transmit a certified copy that does not contain the
decedent’s cause of death or Social Security number to the appropriate town
clerk. The words "Court Amended" shall be typed, written,
or stamped at the top of the new or amended certificates, with the date of the
decree and the name of the issuing court.
(c) Provided, however, that only the medical examiner or the certifying physician may apply to correct or complete the certificate as to the medical certification of the cause of death.
The Vermont General Assembly
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