§ 23-3-17. Fetal death registration.
(a) A fetal death certificate for each fetal death which occurs in this state after a gestation period of twenty (20) completed weeks or more shall be filed with the state registrar of vital records or as otherwise directed by the state registrar within seven (7) calendar days after the delivery and prior to removal of the fetus from the state, and shall be registered if it has been completed and filed in accordance with this section; provided:
(1) That if the place of fetal death is unknown, a fetal death certificate shall be filed with the state registrar of vital records or as otherwise directed by the state registrar within seven (7) calendar days after the occurrence; and
(2) That if a fetal death occurs on a moving conveyance, a fetal death certificate shall be filed with the state registrar of vital records or as otherwise directed by the state registrar.
(b) All other fetal deaths, irrespective of the number of weeks uterogestation, shall be reported directly to the state department of health within seven (7) calendar days after delivery.
(c) The funeral director, his or her duly authorized agent, or another person acting as agent, who first assumes custody of a fetus, shall file the fetal death certificate. In the absence of a funeral director or agent, the physician or another person in attendance at or after delivery shall file the certificate of fetal death. He or she shall obtain the personal data from the next of kin or the best qualified person or source available. He or she shall obtain the medical certification of cause of death from the person responsible for the certification.
(d) The medical certification shall be completed and signed within forty-eight (48) hours after delivery by the physician in attendance at or after delivery except when inquiry is required by chapter 4 of this title.
(e) When a fetal death occurs without medical attendance upon the mother at or after the delivery or when inquiry is required by chapter 4 of this title, the medical examiner shall investigate the cause of fetal death and shall complete and sign the medical certification within forty-eight (48) hours after taking charge of the case.
(f) Each funeral director shall, on or before the tenth (10th) day of the following month, file a report with the state registrar of vital records listing funerals and/or decedents serviced following deaths or fetal deaths within the month. Failure to file these reports or any of the certificates required under § 23-3-16 and this section within the prescribed time limits shall be grounds for disciplinary action, including revocation of license by the state board of examiners in embalming.
(P.L. 1961, ch. 87, § 1; P.L. 1976, ch. 293, § 1; P.L. 1977, ch. 110, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 164, § 1.)