What do I do When Death Occurs?
If death should occur at home or in a private hospital, we suggest you contact the family Doctor. Provided they treated the person during the previous three months and they are satisfied as to the cause of death, they will normally be able to issue a death certificate quickly.
Alternatively, when a person dies in a public hospital, it is normal for the attending Doctor to sign the certificate although sometimes the hospital may want to perform an autopsy.
Sudden or Accidental Death
In all cases where death has occurred from other than natural causes, i.e. an accidental death or sudden death of a person who is not under the care of a doctor, it is necessary for the Coroner to be notified.
The Coroner is a Government Officer appointed to investigate all deaths where a Doctor is legally unable to sign a Certificate of Death. When a death is reported, and the police or ambulance are called, the police will report to the Coroner, and will arrange for the person who has died to be transferred to the city mortuary.
This transfer is carried out by a qualified person who is under contract with the Justice Department. You are free to call the Funeral Director of your choice as soon as the formalities with the police have been taken care of. The Funeral Director will then take care of any further formalities on your behalf.