The Medical Referee
  • A doctor appointed by each Crematorium Authority, approved by the Director General of Health.
  • Main role is to check the Death & Cremation certificates for compliance with the appropriate Acts and Regulations and, if everything is in order, signs an authorization certificate (“Permission to Cremate”).
  • Does not have access to the patient’s medical records but is authorized to make appropriate enquiries.
  • Can ask for a formal declaration of identity of the deceased.
  • Has full authority to refuse to authorize a cremation if there is any doubt.

Cremation Regulations 1973 section 7.
(4) The Medical Referee shall discharge the following further duties:
  • (a) He shall, before permitting a cremation, examine the application and certificates and ascertain that they are in conformity with these regulations and that the inquiry made by any person giving a certificate in the said form B has been adequate. The Medical Referee may make any inquiry with regard to the application and any certificate that he may think necessary;

(9) Notwithstanding anything in these regulations a Medical Referee may refuse to permit a cremation without stating any reason.

Sending the signed Forms to the Medical Referee
There must be no opportunity for a third party to alter the forms.
  • Once a doctor completes the forms, they should be placed in a sealed envelope and handed directly to the Funeral Director to be sent to the Medical Referee.
  • By convention, the Funeral Director is the delegated party ensuring the integrity of the forms and can fax the forms to the Medical Referee.
  • Open, unsealed forms should not be left unattended with the deceased.

Cremation Regulations 1973: Schedule 1, Form B
Note - This certificate must be handed or sent in a closed envelope by the medical practitioner who signs it to a Medical Referee.