The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its recent notification has directed that if the cause of a person’s death is covid 19 or complications related to the same, then that should be specifically mentioned in the death certificate along with the covid positive RTCPR report. The Hon’ble court has directed the state and central governments as well as the other concerned authorities that the accurate cause of death must be mentioned in the death certificate for several reasons. In case the death has occurred due to covid or complications related to it, the process of issuing the death certificate and the following formalities should be carried out with utmost ease and caution so that the family members of the deceased do not have to face extra difficulties.
It has also been noted that mentioning the cause of the death as covid is essential so that the unfortunate families can procure the beneficial schemes and relief measures that have been ensured by the government for them.
The judgement was delivered after the Hon’ble division bench comprising of Hon’ble Justices Ashok Bhushan and Mr. Shah heard two Public Interest Litigations alleging that the authorities were not issuing proper death certificates and were not following the accurate measures in issuing the death certificates of the ones who die of covid. This was causing additional stress to the family members of such people and was also depriving them of the benefits that they deserve.
The Central government in its affidavit has stated that the issuance of death certificates in case the patient dies of covid should be mentioned with the only rule of exception being a clear alternative cause of death for example another fatal disease, accident, poisoning, etc.
After going through the affidavit submitted by the central government as well as the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research, the court concluded that if a person is found to be covid positive and dies within two to three months after that, at his place of residence or in a hospital, the death certificate must have the fact mentioned that the person had been affected with covid, even if the exact cause of death had been another fatality. This will help make the process easy and more comfortable for the family members of the deceased.
Under these tough times, all of us need to stand beside the unfortunate ones who have lost their near and dear ones to the fatal virus. Therefore, the Hon’ble Apex Court has directed the concerned authorities and the government to keep a strict eye on the implementation of the directions issued.