Who can certify death?
Important COVID-19 notice
RN coroner investigators employed and trained by the Office of the Chief Coroner (OCC) have temporarily obtained authority to certify death, as outlined in the emergency order (O.Reg 192/20 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act). While in effect, this order overrides the Vital Statistics Act.
I’m an RN who works with clients in the community. My employer has requested that I sign certificates of death for clients where death is expected. Can an RN sign a certificate of death?
Unless you are an RN coroner investigator employed by the OCC, RNs and RPNs do not have the authority to sign Medical Certificates of Death. For clarification about the differences between certifying death and pronouncing death, review the definitions by the Canadian Medical Protective Association.
In specific circumstances, NPs have the authority to sign Medical Certificates of Death. For more information, go to cno.org/np and look for information on Issuing Medical Certificates of Death under the “Practice Resources” tab.