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Hospital refuses to issue death certificate...

Hospital refuses to issue death certificate
"My classmate’s aunt passed away last year but until now, his family has yet to obtain her death certificate. According to his uncle, the hospital refused to issue the death certificate because they still have an outstanding balance. What should their family do? They just want to obtain the death certificate so that they can process their claims like SSS etc. Please advise me on this matter. BenzDear Benz, The surviving relatives of a deceased patient may secure the latter’s death certificate from the hospital or medical clinic where the said patient was seen. We wish to emphasize that the hospital is bound to issue the same if it will be used for interment purposes. However, if it is to be used for purposes other than the interment of the deceased patient, the surviving relatives shall be required to execute a promissory note covering the unpaid obligation which must be secured by either a mortgage or by a guarantee of a co-maker before the necessary death certificate can be issued in their favor, provided that said patient did not stay in a private room during his/her confinement. This is in line with the provisions laid down under Republic Act 9439, otherwise known as “An Act Prohibiting the Detention of Patients in Hospitals and Medical Clinics on Grounds of Nonpayment of Hospital Bills or Medical Expenses”:“SEC. 2. Patients who have fully or partially recovered and who already wish to leave the hospital or medical clinic but are financially incapable to settle, in part or in full, their hospitalization expenses, including professional fees and medicines, shall be allowed to leave the hospital or medical clinic, with a right to demand the issuance of the corresponding medical certificate and other pertinent papers required for the release of the patient from the hospital or medical clinic upon the execution of a promissory note covering the unpaid obligation. The promissory note shall be secured by either a mortgage or by a guarantee of a co-maker, who will be jointly and severally liable with the patient for the unpaid obligation. In the case of a deceased patient, the corresponding death certificate and other documents required for interment and other purposes shall be released to any of his surviving relatives requesting for the same: Provided, however, That patients who stayed in private rooms shall not be covered by this Act.” To further reinforce the abovementioned provision, it has been declared under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9439 that:“V. Policies and Guidelines: A. General Policies:x x x2. In the case of a deceased patient, any of his/ her surviving relatives shall be issued the corresponding death certificate and other pertinent documents for interment purpose only. For other purposes, such documents shall be issued only upon execution of a promissory note covering the unpaid obligations by any of the surviving relatives. The promissory note shall be secured by either a mortgage, or a guarantee of a co-maker who shall be jointly and severally liable for the unpaid obligations. In the event the documents will be needed for purposes of getting the benefits from the Social Security System,Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, insurance policies or pre-need plans, the hospital may require the execution of an assignment of proceeds up to the extent of the hospital bills or medical expenses/ hospitalization expenses.3. In the case of a deceased patient, any of his/ her surviving relatives who refuse to execute a promissory note shall be allowed to claim the cadaver and can demand the issuance of death certificate and other pertinent documents for interment purposes. Documents for other purposes shall be released only after execution of a promissory note. x x x” Accordingly, your classmate must ascertain first if his aunt was confined in a non-private room of the hospital. If so, his family must comply with the aforementioned requirement of executing a promissory note which should cover their unpaid obligation with the hospital and which must also be secured by either a mortgage or by a guarantee of a co-maker so that they may validly demand for the issuance of his aunt’s death certificate.If they were able to comply, but the hospital still refuses to issue the death certificate, they may opt to file a complaint against the responsible official/employee of the said hospital because pursuant to Section 3 of RA 9439:“Any officer or employee of the hospital or medical clinic responsible for releasing patients, who violates the provisions of this Act shall be punished by a fine of not less than Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000), but not more than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000), or imprisonment of not less than one month, but not more than six months, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the proper court.”We hope that we were able to answer your queries. This advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated."
 

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"Hospital refuses to issue death certificate" was written by Mary under the Legal Advice category. It has been read 201 times and generated 0 comments. The article was created on and updated on 15 September 2021.
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