Korean J Leg Med.  2020 Feb;44(1):7-16. 10.7580/kjlm.2020.44.1.7.

A Study on the Death Certificates and the Warrant of Seizure in Relation to the Death Certification System

  • 1Department of Forensic Medicine, Chosun University School of Medicine, Gwangju, Korea. ysk007fm@hotmail.com
  • 2Department of Law, Chosun University College of Law, Gwangju, Korea.


The death certification system in a modern welfare state is of critical importance because it is related to the collection of national statistics for health policy, social security and social welfare. So, the monitoring of death events by the government has become an important function of a constitutional state. There are two ways in which a death certificate can be issued: the medical judgment by the physician via the death certificate and through a warrant for an autopsy by a law enforcement agency, especially in the case of violent deaths. On a practical level, however, the death certificate issued by a physician may contain serious faults like an inaccurate assessment of the cause of death especially when the death resulted from unnatural causes. The warrant specified in the Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Act also raises the question of whether it is legally fulfilling its original mandate, especially when looking at procedures in the case of suicide or other causes of death that are not related to a crime. The authors, therefore, examined the shortcomings of legal codes related to death certification and warrants for autopsies and propose the reformation of legal codes for the death certification system.


Death certificates; Warrant; Cause of death; Manner of death; Autopsy

MeSH Terms

Cause of Death
Constitution and Bylaws
Death Certificates*
Health Policy
Law Enforcement
Social Security
Social Welfare


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