Doctor’s fees only apply in the case of cremation. If the deceased is to be buried, there are usually no additional documents to obtain or fees to pay. This is due to the stricter guidelines and more rigorous medical checks involved in clearing a body for cremation. In total, the doctors’ fee comes to £164. This covers the cost of two forms and is composed of two payments of £82.

However, these fees are not applicable in all cases. For instance, if the death goes to the coroner, there is no need to pay for the forms to be signed. This is due to the fact that the coroner needs to perform slightly different checks when there is uncertainty as to how or why an individual died. This may be because the death was violent or unnatural, occurred during a medical procedure, or was sudden and unexplained.


Certificate of Medical Attendant (Forms 4) and the Confirmatory Medical Certificate (CR5)

When cremation is due to take place, it is necessary to obtain two forms, each of which needs to be signed by a different doctor. The first form is known as the Certificate of Medical Attendant or Form 4. Generally, this document is signed by the same doctor who issued the Medical Certificate Cause of Death. The second form is known as the Confirmatory Medical Certificate or Form CR5. This form is completed and signed by a different doctor, who will check and confirm the details provided by the first.


The process of obtaining a Certificate of Medical Attendant (Forms 4) and the Confirmatory Medical Certificate (CR5)

When faced with the death of a loved one, the last thing most people want to be doing is paperwork. Fortunately, the process is typically handled by your appointed funeral director. In most cases, once notified that cremation is preferred to burial, the funeral director will arrange for the doctor to perform the required checks and sign Forms 4 and CR5. They will also arrange a way for the fees to be paid and pass this information on to the deceased’s family.


Why are the Certificate of Medical Attendant (Forms 4) and the Confirmatory Medical Certificate (CR5) needed?

This process is relatively new and has been implemented in order to ensure doctors are held to account through a proper system of checks and balances. In the past, there have been instances in which medical professionals have acted illegally, signing off on a false cause of death in order to hide instances of malpractice or willful harm. The high-profile case of serial killer Dr Harold Shipman, convicted over the murder of 15 patients, but who may have murdered hundreds more, is the leading example. Cremation destroys all evidence of such action and a doctor who may be harming their patients will not be discovered. Introducing a second doctor into the system ensures a single ‘rogue’ doctor is unable to abuse their position of power.

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