Reporting Procedures for Statutorily Reportable Deaths

Removal of the Body and Removal Notices

Wis. Stat. § 69.18, addresses the removal of bodies and removal notices. Also review Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 135, relating to the preparation, transportation and disposition of human corpses and stillbirths and properly registering deaths.

In the absence of any conditions that would necessitate the presence of the coroner or medical examiner, and after the pronouncement of death, the facility staff is responsible for the following:

  1. The facility staff or appropriate person notifies the funeral director or the family. The statutory language is found in Wis. Stat. § 69.18(1)(a). Any related county coroner policy on the removal of bodies also needs to be noted.

  2. Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 135.04(3), specifies the responsibilities of a hospital or nursing home administrator for completing the Notice of Removal.

The administrator or that person's representative must complete the portion of the notice which specifies if isolation techniques should be used in the embalming process and indicate whether the death is reportable to the coroner or medical examiner under Wis. Stat. § 979.01.

  1. Wis. Stat. § 69.18(1)(d), does not permit a hospital, nursing home or facility-based hospice to release a body to a funeral director or family member unless the facility receives a removal notice.

It is the responsibility of the funeral director or other person making the removal to complete the top portion of the removal notice. It is the responsibility of the facility to complete the lower portion.

Copies of the removal notice should be available in all non-home-based facilities. Although CBRFs are not required to use the forms, the forms can be used by CBRFs to document the appropriate release of a body.

Blank forms may also be obtained from the Office of Health Informatics, Division of Public Health (fax number: 608-261-4972), or from your local registrar.

The funeral director or other appropriate person must leave the original and one copy of the completed Notice of Removal with the facility.

The administrator of the facility must forward the original of the removal notice to the local registrar (usually the register of deeds) within 24 hours of the pronouncement of death.

Death Certificates

The following procedure is to be followed for the completion of a death certificate:

  1. The funeral director is responsible for completing the non-medical portions of the certificate. A hospital or nursing home may begin filling out the death certificate.

    The funeral director or other person responsible for removing the body is responsible for presenting the death certificate to the medical certifier for obtaining the cause of death.

  2. The death certificate must be signed by the physician and mailed within five calendar days after the pronouncement of death or presented to the person responsible for filing the death certificate within six calendar days after the pronouncement of death.

    The original death certificate must be filed in the local registrar's office within nine calendar days after the pronouncement of death.

Last Revised: August 24, 2016