CHAPTER 88

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 31, TITLE 16, DELAWARE CODE, ENTITLED "VITAL STATISTICS".

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. § 3124, Title 16, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the definition of "Stillbirth" as the same appears therein and by substituting in lieu thereof the following definition:

"Fetal death" or "stillbirth" means death of a fetus prior to birth after 20 weeks of gestation.

Section 2. § 3125, Title 16, Delaware Code is hereby repealed and a new § 3125 enacted to read as follows:

§ 3125. Registration of deaths and fetal deaths

(c) A certificate of every death or fetal death (after gestation period of 20 weeks or more) shall be filed with the local registrar of the district in which the death or stillbirth occurred or in which the person in charge of interment resides, within three days after the occurrence is known; or if the place of death or fetal death is not known, then with the local registrar of the district in which the body is found within 24 hours thereafter.

(d) When a death or a fetal death occurs on a moving conveyance a death or a fetal death certificate shall be filed in the registration district in which the dead body or fetus is first removed from such conveyance.

(e) The person in charge of interment shall file with the local registrar of the district in which the death or fetal death occurred, or in which the person in charge of interment resides, or the body found, a certificate of death or fetal death within three days after the occurrence. If the certificate is filed in the district in which the person in charge of interment resides, the local registrar of that district shall be paid a fee of 50 cents.

(d) In preparing a certificate of death or fetal death the person in charge of interment shall obtain and enter on the certificate the personal data required by the State Board of Health from the persons best qualified to supply them. He shall present the certificate of death to the physician last in attendance upon the deceased or to the Medical Examiner or Coroner having jurisdiction, who shall thereupon certify the cause of death according to his best knowledge and belief. No midwife shall sign a certificate of death or fetal death.

(e) The undertaker or person in charge of interment shall, if the death occurred without medical attendance or the physician last in attendance failed to sign the death certificate or circumstances suggest that the death or fetal death was caused other than by natural causes, notify the Medical Examiner or Coroner for investigation and certification.

(f) If the cause of death cannot be determined within three days, the certification of its cause may be filed after the prescribed period, but the attending physician, Medical Examiner or Coroner shall give the local registrar of the district in which death occurred written notice of the reason for the delay in order that permit for the disposition of the body may be issued.

Section 3. Subsection (c), § 3127, Title 16, Delaware Code is hereby repealed and a new subsection (c) enacted to read as follows:

(c) The State Registrar shall file a new certificate of birth for any child born in Delaware who is legally adopted in another State upon receipt of a certified or exemplified copy of the Court Order of Adoption from the Clerk of the Court of such other State, and shall issue a certificate as provided under section 3134 of this title.

Section 4. § 3151, Title 16, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the word "stillbirth" wherever the same appears therein and by substituting in lieu thereof the words "fetal death".

Approved June 24, 1959.