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Death Certificate

The death certificate is a Washington State Health Department document, not a Coroner document. The death certification process includes classification of the manner of death which is intended to describe the action associated with a death, if any, for public health department vital statistics purposes. In the vast majority of deaths, Washington State law directs the physician last in attendance to certify the death. The Coroners assist the community and the Health Department with death certifications in some of the deaths reported to the Office of the Coroner, most often in cases of unnatural death. The manner of death as used by the Office of the Coroner does not address presence or absence of intent, culpability or justification of any action associated with a death.