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a legal document issued by a qualified medical practitioner certifying the death of a person and stating the cause if known
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
death certificatea certificate issued on the registration of a person's death. First instituted in 1837 in England and Wales, it shows the full name of the person, the date and cause of death, age at death, marital status, and the occupation of the deceased or his/her spouse. Death certificates provide the sociologist with a source of data with which to examine matters such as occupational illness and social-class differences in DEATH RATE. See also BIRTH CERTIFICATE, MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE, PARISH REGISTERS.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000