My dad recently passed away. He was on a lot of medication for the past 20 years due to an injury. With the many problems that are a side effect of pain meds, his kidneys were failing and he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. My dad came from a family of alcoholics but did not drink at all while I was growing up. Later in life he and my mother would occasionally have a couple glasses of wine or beer. Not heavy drinkers by any means! When we picked up the death certificates, the cause of death was stated as cirrhosis of the liver and Alcohol. This is wrong! One of the doctors that I had met explained that his cirrhosis would be considered "non-alcoholic fatty liver disease." The hospice doctor that signed off on the death certificate said she is just going by what was in her notes from a doctor several months prior and she would not change it. My mom is devastated by this as she made a point to make sure my dad did not turn out like the rest of his family. We are having a hard time getting the doctor to change the death certificate. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

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In the US it is quite common to have to show the death certificate if you are a spouse or the executor of an estate/will. My husband has had to present his mother’s death certificate to varies entities and she has only been gone 8.5 months.

i think for the OP it’s the principle. Her dad did not drink yet his death certificate says basically he died of alcoholism. He fought to NOT follow the same path of his family members yet his death certificate says otherwise. The death certificate should be factually correct. I doubt the OP has even considered this but....many years from now family members using genealogy sites to trace their ancestry may find the death certificate and incorrectly believe that their great great uncle or grandfather died of alcohol-related cirrhosis. We’ve using to do our family trees. I’ve never met my fathers biological father, he left when my dad was a baby. And thanks to ancestry, I’ve found his death certificate. He died of cancer in five 1970s in Germany. So I would say yes....the incorrect verticals could very well be a problem.
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Reply to worriedinCali

I can see that this is annoying, but is it a problem? I have never needed to show my mother’s death certificate in over 20 years, and I have not looked at it myself since she died. Getting a death certificate changed is really difficult, and if it isn’t a problem it might be better to forget about it.

My friend Chris had real problems with this. Her husband’s death certificate from the doctor was required to list previous conditions, and their long-term doctor included just about everything for the last 30 years. When the doctor’s certificate was sent to the government office to provide the official death certificate, the clerks included all the ‘previous’ as causes of death. This would have negated his life insurance, as ‘undisclosed conditions', while his death was solely caused by cancer. Until it was amended, Chris couldn’t claim on the life insurance or apply for probate. It took her six months to get it fixed – she was almost ready to go to the Ombudsman. As I said above, it might be best to ignore it if it doesn’t really matter. Perhaps being able to overlook an ‘insult’ is your father’s last gift to you.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

Talk to the issuing medical examiner not the doctor. They should be able to amend his certificate
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Reply to bettina

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