Under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Act 1996, a doctor has 48 hours to notify the BDM Registrar of a death.

Reportable and reviewable deaths need to be sent straight to the Coroner – you can't use Medical Practitioners Online (MPO).

Before you start

Make sure you:

  • Fill in all fields marked with a '*'
  • Attempt to complete all form fields
  • Use uppercase on all first letters in a field, for example, Sally not sally
  • Remember to print off a copy for the funeral director (you need to provide them with a copy by law).

You can restart an incomplete form from a previous session by entering the form's tracking code.

For a guided overview of the form, watch the video below (subtitles included).

 

Read the transcript.

Deceased details

Fill out the deceased's personal details. You'll also be asked where the death happened. If you select 'Other' fill in the location, for example, roadside.

Cause of death

The Australian Bureau of Statistics provides an information paper and quick reference guide for Cause of Death Certification (External link).

List the final event first, followed by the contributing events in chronological order, backwards from date of death. Below are examples:

Example 1:

Disease or condition Duration
Myocardial infarction and arrest 2 hours
Hypertensive cardiomyopathy 5 years
Hypertension 50 years

 Example 2:

Disease or condition Duration
Infection (source and site of the infection and organism if known) 3 weeks
Cancer (site or type of tumor e.g.: right upper lobe lung) 5 years
Diabetes mellitus (e.g.: type 1 or type 2) 10 years

 Example 3:

Disease or condition Duration
Hospital acquired pneumonia 1 week
Methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia  
Lumbar 4 crush fracture 2 months
Osteoporosis 2 years
  • Very short causes of death are acceptable if they're logical, for example, Metastatic adenocarcinoma of lung.
  • With ambiguous cases of death provide an antecedent cause. Any kind of haemorrhage or fracture should always have an antecedent cause. For example, an antecedent cause for fracture could be osteoporosis and for intracerebral haemorrhage it could be hypertension.
  • Provide the duration of the cause of death if you can. Also include the duration of chronic and acute conditions if possible.
  • If the condition on line b) was due to another condition, use the 'Add' button.
  • Provide details of any other significant conditions contributing to the death but not related to the disease, injury or condition causing it.
  • For sensitive causes like HIV and AIDS, you can use the ICD-10 codes (make sure they're correct)
  • Include only the relevant and important cause of death facts. The causes of death are combined with the deceased’s identity and family information to create the death certificate.

Perinatal deaths

Perinatal deaths don't need a sequence of events. Instead, list the main condition of the infant and the mother in lines A and C.

Provide detailed information about the duration, maternity and any recent surgeries; this information is valuable to the ABS.

Date of death

Doctors must provide an accurate date of death. The Department of Human Services specifies that all registered nurses and paramedics are eligible to pronounce and record the time and date of death, which certifying medical practitioners must acknowledge.

The date of death must be the first date declared by the registered nurse, paramedic or medical practitioner in health services. If the deceased died at home, then the most accurate time should be assessed by the certifying medical practitioner.

Supporting information

Provide the birth details of the deceased's siblings in order of birth from oldest to youngest. Include legally adopted siblings, step brothers and step sisters. Enter 'D' in the age box of any deceased siblings, or 'SB' if they died at birth.