In China, doctors say they are discouraged from listing COVID on death certificates

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During a busy shift at the height of the COVID-19 wave in Beijing, a doctor at a private hospital noticed a printed message in the emergency department: Doctors should “try not” to write COVID-induced respiratory failure on death certificates.

Instead, if the deceased had an underlying illness, that should be listed as the leading cause of death, according to the notice, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

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If doctors believe the death was caused solely by COVID-19 pneumonia, they should report it to their superiors, who will provide two levels of “expert consultation” before confirming a COVID-19 death, it said.

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