Journal List > Korean J Leg Med > v.44(1) > 1143462

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


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.


This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (No. 2017R1D1A3B03031691).


Conflicts of Interest No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article was reported.


Appendix 1

Form of seizure, search, and verification warrant. In practice, there are some misconceptions about the mentioned items for place, body, object to be searched and verified for warrant, objects to be seized for warrant, and place of execution, which are marked in boxes of red dotted line, respectively.


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Youn Shin Kim

Tae Eun Kim

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