Albany coroner to make it easier to get death certificates -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany coroner to make it easier to get death certificates

(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
Albany Dougherty Coroner Michael Fowler (Source: WALB) Albany Dougherty Coroner Michael Fowler (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)

Dougherty County's Coroner wants to make it easier for family members to get death certificates, and help ease the burden for grieving loved ones.

Michael Fowler said the process for registering a death from natural causes should take 10 days.

But he's seen some cases take up to three months. 

Fowler explained an autopsy and toxicology report should be the only reasons for a delay. 

He attended a training Friday morning to learn about an electronic tracking system that should help speed up the process. 

Fowler said doctors were typically the reason why the death certificate is held up, and it could keep a family from burying their loved ones in a timely manner. 

"A lot of times funeral directors need a death certificate for payment for insurance purposes to go ahead and bury their loved one, also many family members have their mortgage due but a mortgage company will honor a death certificate...and so we're trying to get that back to them so it won't be a hardship on the family," said Fowler. 

Fowler explained he's working to get physicians, funeral homes, coroners and medical examiners all on board with the new tracking system. 

Right now, the number of death certifiers using the electronic tracking system in Georgia are 93 percent of funeral homes, 71 percent of coroners, 85 percent of medical examiners but only 18 percent of physicians are registered in the state. 

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