August 31 , 1909

Evening Times

State Board of Health Issues

Pamphlet Telling of Last

Winter's Enactment

Transcribed by : Tina Easley


The State Board of Health has issued a pamphlet dealing with laws

passed by the last Legislature concerning vital statistics, mid-wives, undertakers

and physicians, which laws will become operative October 1. The

compilation has been made by Dr. Bruce S. Keator, secretary of the board,

and David S. South, registrar of vital statistics The Information in the

pamphlet, in part, follows:

In many Instances local registrars have often failed to transmit vital certificates

to the State Bureau each month, as required under a previous

law, and since there was no penalty for neglect of this important duty, the

work of this department has often been greatly hampered Under chapter 109,

laws, of 1909, the law above referred to any assessor or clerk of a township, or

registrar of vital statistics, or clerk of a city, borough, town, county or

other local municipal government in this state, who shall neglect or fail

to transmit to the State Bureau of Vital Statistics on or before

the tenth day of each calendar  month, all certificates of births and

deaths of the previous calendar month In his possession, shall be liable to a

penalty of fifty dollars .

Attention is also called to the fact that local officers shall receive twenty

cents for each certificate of birth or death which is mailed or otherwise

transmitted not later than ten days after the end of the calendar month

in which the birth or death occurred. To successfully complete the work

of reporting births, local registrars are requested to notify all physicians and

midwives in this sanitary district that the registration law will be strictly enforced,

and where a physician or midwife who fails to report a birth within

five days after such birth, the matter should at once be brought to the attention

of the local board of health with recommendation that prosecution

be ordered for violation of the law. The medical profession recognizes

as a public duty the making of these reports, besides the obligation which

law and the general interest of society impose. If physicians will carry

a few blanks in the pocket-case or visiting record but little inconvenience

will be experienced in making the certificates, and the bound books containing

blanks for still-births and deaths will be found complete and

convenient. Physicians and others who are by law required to make certificates

will add much to the value of the returns by using ink of good quality,

and by writing legibly. The facts should be accurately stated, and it

should be borne in mind that every omission in filling up a certificate

blank may seriously impair the record.

Such terms as general debility, dropsy, old age, sore -throat, etc., are

rarely defensible. On the other hand, cholera, typhus fever, typhoid fever,

diphtheria, cerebro-spinal meningitis, should not be certified to as causes of

death unless the specfic character of the disease is clear. When pyaemia,

septicaemia or accident occurs, the causes of these conditions should be

stated. Where there is no doubt as to the true cause of death, 'Ap,' for approximate,

may be written after the name of the disease. Deaths from

suicide should not be concealed by such terms as 'drowning,' 'poisoning,'

but should state suicide by drowning, etc. To obtain the certificate in case of

death is a part of the ordinary duty of the undertaker in connection with

preparation of the dead body for burial.

If the attending physician cannot be found, the undertaker may obtain a

certificate of death from some other physician, and where a permit is also

required by the law, in cases where the city clerk or registrar cannot be

found, any judge of the Court of Common Pleas or any Justice of the

Peace of the county may furnish the permit. The burial of human remains must

be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the act approved

March 25, 1885, which povides that the top of the outside box shall be

at least four feet below the natural surface of the ground in the case of

adults, and in case of Infants the box shall be at least three and one -half

feet below the ground surface.

It is the duty of every assessor, registar of vital statistics and city

clerk or other person acting as registrar of vital statistics, to keep a list of

all local magistrates, physicians, midwives and undertakers, and to send to

each such person printed instructions relating to the requirements of the law

concerning certificates of births and deaths.

Tina Easley
Come Take A Trip In History !
Greene County , Arkansas Website