General -  A Note About Death Records (175 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
 
From: Ishmael112Jan-18 7:44 PM 
To: All  (1 of 10) 
 14749.1 

I.  Introduction.

This note is based on my experience with vital records which are birth, marriage and death records in the State of New Jersey.  I offer it to give some insight into the collection of these records.  At the same time my information is incomplete because I have no experience with part of the process.  

For about 20 years I worked with several local registrars of vital statistics.  At that time I took the standard course given to all registrars in the state of New Jersey.  Then I moved to Trenton where for about 10 years I worked at the State Bureau of Vital Records gathering various records for SSA.  And during almost 40 years I worked at SSA processing all of these records.  This is my own background.  

II.  How Death Records Are Collected.  

When a person dies a Funeral Director who is licensed by the State is called in to deal with the body.  The Funeral Director is responsible for gathering information to complete a death record.  The record includes identifying information including the Social Security Number (SSN) and the name and relationship of the informant, usually the closest relative of the person available.  There is also the cause of death which is completed by the attending physician or the physician who conducts and autopsy.  The physician's name and signature is on the death certificate.  The law allows 5 days for the Funeral Director to collect this information and submit it to the local registrar; however, the information is not considered late if it is submitted with 20 days.  

The local registrar accepts the death record, assigns it a number in sequence with other records, places one copy in a binder and sets a copy aside for the State registrar.  At the end of the day the state copies are put in an envelope to be mailed.  Usually, the envelope will be picked up the following day and taken to the city hall to have postage attached; it is then mailed.  

Each day sacks of this mail are delivered to the State registrar of vital records.  The registrar has a staff of clerks to process it.  Each record is given a state record number and again put in a binder.  When full the binder is put on the shelf.  There are times when the work will back up; then each sack of mail is labeled with the date of delivers so records will be processed in order.  At the State BVR I have seen 10 or more sacks of mail waiting to be processed.  Processing includes indexing and it can take several days.  Sometimes questions are raised about a record and that takes further time.  

In New Jersey basic data for SSA is entered with a keyboard to update SSA's Death Alert and Control Update System (DACUS).  SSA uses the data to terminate payment when people have died.  

None of this happens quickly.  There are always piles of records waiting to be processed.  Mail itself takes days.  It is common for a month to elapse before a record is fully processed.  

Finally, this is my experience in one state.  I have no direct experience with the process in other states although the steps described would all need to be taken with any vital record.  

III.  Cause of Death

I have no experience with records sent to the CDC for Covid or other diseases.  I understand from the news that state bureaus of vital records send photocopies of the death record.  No doubt that process takes time.  More than that I don't know.  

IV.  Conclusion

My experience is in New Jersey.  Vital records are processed methodically and carefully.  At the same time available staff is limited.  I have never known speed of processing to be considered important.  I would estimate the death certificates at best reach the state in 10 days and that at best it takes the state that long to process them.  But many will take longer times.  And if the state is back logged it will take longer still.  I cannot comment of processing time for the Federal Government.  However, I would not count on getting up to date information for at least 60 days.  

Here in the U.S. we have 50 state governments and more territories sending death records to the CDC.  Each state has its own operating limitations.  Yet we often see statistics about Covid posted on a daily basis.  It is hard to see how such frequent postings can really be accurate.  Even weekends will result in the data bunching up.  In my opinion we can accept the overall numbers after a reasonable time has elapsed but we should allow that time before taking any statistic very seriously.  

At the same time many on the internet expect the data to be immediately available.  It has never been and I don't expect it will be.  

  • Edited January 18, 2022 9:19 pm  by  Ishmael112
 
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From: TurkeyMasterFeb-2 2:42 PM 
To: Ishmael112  (2 of 10) 
 14749.2 in reply to 14749.1 

Thanks for that info. I wish only to add on a bit.

Some skeptical people seem to believe that the deaths cause by covid19 are exaggerated by the CDC and other medical organizations, or by the people who send them data.  They often claim that this is done because of politics or economics.  There are three problems with this idea.

1. The first is to realize that this is not merely about the CDC, , or Pfizer but medical organizations around the world.   In other words, the views above is actually a theory about a secret world-wide conspiracy. Such conspiracies are common in times of stress.  People want simply answers and simple solutions and they will tend to believe them.

2. The second is that, in my view,  the deaths directly or indirectly linked  to covid19 are underestimated, not overestimated.  Think of the overwhelmed hospitals, the lack of ICUs and the burnt out doctors and nurses, not to mention all the nurses who have quite their jobs.  Think of all the cancelled elective surgeries , as well as those who do not go to the doctor for fear of catching the covid19.  All the missed checkups, tests, and procedures that have been put off because of covid19.  Think of those that have died of another illness, but whose health was pushed donward because of covid19.  Think of those who in third world nations whose deaths may not always be well documented, or of those who were unable to get the vaccines.  Almost six million people world wide are known to have died of covid19, or it being a contributing factor.  How high might the real number be?

3. Last but not least, is something that is too obvious.  For all who have downplayed the pandemic:  It is true that covid19 is not the plague, and the odds a any single person dying is very small, but it has killed at least six million people, made tends of millions very ill, and had damaged economies around he globe.   Might it have been better to error on the side of caution?   How many have died, and how many small businesses have permanently closed because too many people downplayed that virus?  I know that some think that they are not at great risk, but just maybe the world is not just about you.  The suffering, loss, and cost of downplaying the pandemic has been tragic.

 

 
From: Ishmael112Feb-2 8:39 PM 
To: TurkeyMaster  (3 of 10) 
 14749.3 in reply to 14749.2 

TurkeyMaster said...

Some skeptical people seem to believe that the deaths cause by covid19 are exaggerated by the CDC and other medical organizations, or by the people who send them data.  They often claim that this is done because of politics or economics.  There are three problems with this idea.

Another problem with that idea is that it is impossible.  On almost all death certificates the cause of death is completed by the attending physician.  Where there is an autopsy the cause of death is completed by the physician who conducts the autopsy.  Some states do use coroners, but they determine the cause of death only in accidents and similar things.  The physicians who determine the cause of death operate independently of one another.  So the idea of someone at the CDC or in another government office altering the cause of death is incorrect to the point of being absurd.  

I agree with you that in places with low vaccination rates especially the health care system breaks down for a while and that leads to mistakes.  But I doubt that a mistaken cause of death is one of them.  

My experience is that folks who are quick to accuse others of dishonesty do so because they themselves are dishonest.  

 

 
From: TurkeyMasterFeb-2 9:54 PM 
To: Ishmael112  (4 of 10) 
 14749.4 in reply to 14749.3 

Ishmael112 said...My experience is that folks who are quick to accuse others of dishonesty do so because they themselves are dishonest.  

That is probably true in some cases.  At other times they are mislead by those who benefit from their skepticism.  "The election for fixed." works best for those who liked the losing candidate.    Another sad thing about this is that calling wolf too often can lead to dire consequences if the alarm call is ignored from past false positives.  

The environmentalist in me impels me to make this disclaimer: I use the word "wolf" as a symbol of danger, but that is unfair to the wolf.  Even in the days when wolves were numerous in the US, human attacks by wolves were very rare, and death by wolf was almost non-existent.  Wolves are far too smart to mess with humans, and they will detect your presence in an area and leave long before you arrive or even see them from a distance. 

 

 
From: Ishmael112Feb-2 10:00 PM 
To: TurkeyMaster  (5 of 10) 
 14749.5 in reply to 14749.4 

I think the problem inheres in the electorate itself rather than in politicians.  Politicians follow the electorate.  No politician would ever embrace a losing cause.  If large portions of the electorate in some states were not rejecting covid vaccination than politicians would not be doing so either.  

 

 
From: BobSciFeb-2 11:33 PM 
To: TurkeyMaster  (6 of 10) 
 14749.6 in reply to 14749.2 

I agree on the numbers.  Scientists have looked at the deaths compared  with the expected deaths in a normal year and they exceed the number listed for covid deaths.  Of course some of these are people who either were hesitant to go to the hospital or did not get the care both due to covid.  That brings up should they be listed as deaths caused by the covid rather than covid deaths.  In the US there difference was 20% above the number of reported covid deaths.  Of course as you said there are other things like hospital care that were some of them.

The sad thing is while we were quite a bit higher in the number of deaths in a normal year, other countries that did control covid also showed less deaths than would be expected in a normal year.  While they did have covid deaths, the precautions they took also reduced deaths from other things like flu deaths.

 

 
From: TurkeyMasterFeb-3 9:16 AM 
To: BobSci  (7 of 10) 
 14749.7 in reply to 14749.6 

BobSci said...  Scientists have looked at the deaths compared  with the expected deaths in a normal year and they exceed the number listed for covid deaths. 

Right.  I should have mentioned that. 

BobSci said...The sad thing is while we were quite a bit higher in the number of deaths in a normal year, other countries that did control covid also showed less deaths than would be expected in a normal year.  While they did have covid deaths, the precautions they took also reduced deaths from other things like flu deaths.

True, but we had a lower rate of colds, the flu, and other respiratory illnesses as well.  This is something those who downplay the importance of masking and distancing.  If you look at crowd pictures of Tokyo, even before the pandemic, you will almost always see some people with masks on. The Japanese are more socially responsible and though it is not a law, social manners are such that anyone who is sick from a respiratory illness (colds, flu, etc.) is expected that that person will wear a mask in public to reduce the spread.  When some Americans hears about medial information, they sometimes filter to their own preconceptions and hear what they want to hear.  For example, recent studies have shown that paper masks are less effective at stopping the omicron variant than was hoped.  That M95 masks would be better.  From this some proclaimed that "Masks are no good and we were right all the time!"   Well, no, that is not what was being presented at all.  The masks seem LESS effective because omicron is so much more infectious, which is not saying that they are worthless.  If you have a M95 mask, that is preferable but if not, the mask is still better than nothing. 

  • Edited February 3, 2022 8:40 pm  by  TurkeyMaster
 

 
From: Ishmael112Feb-3 11:34 AM 
To: TurkeyMaster  (8 of 10) 
 14749.8 in reply to 14749.7 

The anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers often rely on the argument that if you do not have a perfect solution to a problem then you should do nothing at all.  If you examine their arguments that logic is often at the core of their thinking.  

 

 
From: BobSciFeb-3 9:57 PM 
To: TurkeyMaster  (9 of 10) 
 14749.9 in reply to 14749.7 

I have had a similar argument with a a right winger back in late 2020.  He said that a pharmacist told him they were not having as many prescriptions for Tamiflu so that shows  that doctors and hospitals were misdiagnosing flu as covid.  I replied that it only proved that masks and social distancing work.  That it makes sense that if they work for covid, they must work for flu which is less infectious.  Also there should be no misdiagnoses since the symptoms are different enough and testing is available to make it correct.  No response as usual when confronted with an alternate and more scientific hypothesis.

 

  • Edited February 3, 2022 9:59 pm  by  BobSci
 

 
From: TurkeyMasterFeb-4 9:10 PM 
To: BobSci  (10 of 10) 
 14749.10 in reply to 14749.9 

BobSci said...

No response as usual when confronted with an alternate and more scientific hypothesis.

Maybe no response is better than a bad response here.   It might not change his mind at the moment by might think about what you said....maybe. 

At least you were ready with good information.  Sometimes simple explanations are best.  I just read this simple info from a covid site.  "mRAN, which is messenger RNA is a natural and normal product of the body's cells.  There is nothing intrinsically harmful about it.   The mRAN vaccines have been studies for years.  The mRNA Vaccines do not enter the cell nucleus, (where our DNA is stored), and thus cannot alter our DNA. 

Have you seen the video of the guy putting on ten masks attached to an Oxy-meter?  There is nothing said in  the video and there is no voice over.   However, the oxygen level readout shows on the screen as he is putting on the masks.  He puts on the masks, one at a time, then waits a bit after the 10th one is put on.  At no point does the oxygen level change.   O2 and CO2 molecules are thousands of times smaller than the distance between the cloth threads.  

 

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