Korean J Leg Med.  2019 May;43(2):37-53. 10.7580/kjlm.2019.43.2.37.

Historical Changes of Korean Death Certificate Form

Affiliations
  • 1Graduate School of Forensic and Investigative Science, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
  • 2Department of Forensic Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea. sanghan1@knu.ac.kr

Abstract

The death certificate is a medical document that proves the death of a person and forms the basis of an administrative death report. It is a source of statistics on the cause of a person's death and the basic tool used in national health policy and health promotion activities. This study reviews the major categories of historical changes made to the Korean death certificate form over the years. During the Japanese colonial period, the death certificate form was first introduced under the Koii (public doctor) system. However, the first structurally organized form of the death certificate was based on the "National Medical Service Act" (June 26, 1955.); it was structurally very similar to the current form. Since the enactment of the "Enforcement Decree of the Medical Service Act", the death certificate form has undergone structural changes 13 times. The changes made to the contents or format of the death certificate during its 98 revisions can be classified into eight categories: death certificate title, form language, personal information, place of death, cause of death, manner of death, information on unnatural death, and other changes (chart number, serial number, confirmation seal, etc.). The authors hope that future revisions to the Korean death certificate would make it easier to write.

Keyword

Death certificate; Cause of death; Korea; History

MeSH Terms

Asian Continental Ancestry Group
Cause of Death
Death Certificates*
Health Policy
Health Promotion
Hope
Humans
Korea

Figure

  • Fig. 1 Death certificate form was first introduced in the official gazette (No. 601: 1914.8.3.) by Chosun Governor General in Japanese colonial period.

  • Fig. 2 International standard form of medical certificate of “cause of death.” Reproduced from World Health Organization. International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems, 10th revision [Internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2016 [2].


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