Wrong death date

Can anyone help me please? My dad died on Friday 17th Feb in hospital at 21:45pm, myself and my brother were with him. I asked a nurse if he had died or was in a deep sleep, she confirmed he has passed and left us alone in the room and put a butterfly sign on the door to let people know not to enter without seeing a senior nurse first.
At some point a Dr came in the room but a nurse ushered him out, I’m unsure if he had the wrong room and was looking for another patient or was called in to confirm. He asked me who I was and I replied his daughter before the nurse took him out.
Today the medical examiner secretary has called to discuss death certificate and she has my dad down as dying on the 18th she claims this is because it’s a date the Dr got to confirm death.
She said will get the medical examiner to phone me tomorrow.
It’s really upsetting me as it’s just simply the wrong date and I feel I need to stick up for my dad. Has anyone else sadly had this? X


Hi Helen,

I’m sorry that you are going through this. I would find it very upsetting too.

I haven’t experienced this. My father passed away in hospice, we were with him when he took his last breath and there was also a nurse present who recorded the date and time of my dad’s death. I remember vividly checking this with her as it was important for me to know the exact time.

There was no doctor present when my father passed in hospice as it was the early hours of the morning. The doctor saw my father the following day in chapel of rest and death certificate time and date was recorded the same as what the nurse and myself had witnessed.

Sorry I don’t have any further advice.


So sorry for your loss, it difficult enough without that.

I know what you mean. I found my mum on the morning of the 29th December however even though the doctor she had her heart attack the night before the death certificate date was when he saw her and pronounced her dead.

Don’t know if this is of any use.
Valda xx

Apologies if I’ve misunderstood your post @Helen17 but could it be that though your Dad died at 21.45hrs on the 17th, it was after midnight before a Doctor saw him to pronounce him dead maybe, so his death was pronounced on the 18th?

Not all Nurses would be permitted to formally declare someone as deceased (though, clearly, years of experience would mean that they knew this to be the case) but in some circumstances, such as those described by @Katherine86, where there are prolonged periods of time without a Doctor on the premises, certain Nurses would be able to pronounce death.

Thank you xx

Yes I think that’s the case, thank you xx

Thanks, so sorry you have had to go through it too, it just feels wrong xx

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I can understand your frustration in that the documented date is wrong. We found my son passed suddenly aged 27 on the 4th of Feb. It was blatantly obvious he’d been there at least a couple of days. From our reckoning and records on his pc we believe he passed either late 31st Jan or early hours of the first Feb. He went for post mortem and I expected maybe they would sort the date out then but they haven’t. The date has remained as the date he was found. Everything I see with it written on feels wrong, even down to the plaque on his coffin. I half understand it as they can only certify once he’s witnessed to have passed (I used to work in the NHS) but I also know it will have been obvious to them that he had been passed for some time.

Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I’m so sorry for the loss of your son and the pain the date too is causing you. Xxx