Death Data Research


Campus researchers using death data must submit protocols for review by CPHS.

The UC Office of Research issued a memo on California State legislation and resultant UC policy changes regarding death data research, effective January 1, 2003.

The California legislature passed Bill SB 1614, which requires vital statistics records, i.e., birth and death records, to be kept confidential and to be released only by request, signed under penalty of perjury, with proof of identity. Because the bill would have hampered research that relies on death data, the University of California sought an exception that allows death data containing identifying information to be released to university researchers. The author responded by including an exception for persons expressing a “valid scientific interest” as determined by an institutional review board (IRB).

Thus, UC policy now requires that campus IRBs review such research.