The study sought to understand the meanings and significances that physicians attribute to the Death Certificate (DO) and the implications of subjectivity in the production of information on mortality. Guided by qualitative research, semi-structured interviews and content analysis, techniques were chosen for understanding representations and experiences involved in the filling out of the DO. The results revealed that different meanings and significances are attributed to the DO depending on how death occurred, in accordance with the different attributes the document acquires from a practical standpoint, in terms of 'epidemiological' and 'legal' functions. The results suggest that the DO used as a technical and objective instrument for data collection and production of health statistics does not lack subjectivity, which turns it into an instrument that in the medical practice and social reality reflects cultural issues, the social position of the subjects who fill it out and their representations of death.
de Melo, C. M., Bevilacqua, P. D., & Barletto, M. (2013). Produção da informação sobre mortalidade por causas externas: Sentidos e significados no preenchimento da declaração de óbito. Ciencia e Saude Coletiva, 18(5), 1225–1234. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232013000500007