Grave Errors in the Way Six in 10 Greek Death Certificates are Recorded



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Life in Greece may be difficult, however, death isn’t easy either. Not only are grave plots in short supply, meaning that loved ones of the deceased are forced to exhume their bodies at some point to hold in an ossuary due to a ghastly rent-a-grave system, but recent information that has come to light shows that six in 10 death certificates issued in Greece contain serious errors.

Coroners Association Chief Grigoris Leon told the 18th Pan-Cretan Medical Conference in Rethymno, Crete, that most errors on certificates lie in the cause of death. Leon says that the description and recording of this is often erroneous and he called for vigilance and better training to rectify the current situation.

Leon states that the way in which death is recorded may be meaningless in bringing back the person lost, however, they are important in terms of gathering mortality statistics for Greece. These statistics are important because they are the way in which public health can be better monitored. He argues that the way in which death is recorded can affect the lives of people in society as the causes of deaths are used to determine public health policy and research. Hence, wrong death records can inevitably cause more deaths by sending researchers in the wrong direction.