What to do if a doctor has not signed my mother’s death certificate after 3 weeks and her creamation is being held up as a result?

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What to do if a doctor has not signed my mother’s death certificate after 3 weeks and her creamation is being held up as a result?

My mother passed away 3 weeks ago. We just found out the doctor has not signed the death certificate and she is still at the mortuary waiting to be cremated. I know this is some type of negligence, and would like to seek legal counsel as this is more than upsetting to us. We had her funeral 4 days after her death. The funeral home took the remains to be cremated. They told us he has 10 days to sign it. We are more than disturbed that her body is still at the mortuary. Should we consult a personal injury/medical malpractice attorney? In Hendricks County, IN.

Asked on April 29, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Indiana

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your mother.

You may have a claim for negligence and specifically negligent infliction of emotional distress against the doctor who has not signed your mother's death certificate.  Negligence is based on the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care in this case that a reasonable doctor in the same locality would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances) to prevent foreseeable harm.  If the ten day period for the doctor to sign the death certificate mentioned by the funeral home is the period required by law, violation of that statute establishes negligence.

It would be advisable to speak with a personal injury attorney.


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