NODO procedure will start on 1 October
If a minor dies and the cause of death is unknown, a certificate of natural death will no longer be issued without further investigation. The introduction of the NODO procedure (Further Investigation into the Cause of Death of Minors) means that in the event of an unexplained and unexpected death specially trained doctors will perform a further investigation into the cause of death as of 1 October. This means that the cause of death may be established as yet and future cases may be prevented. This is written by State Secretary Teeven (Security and Justice), also on behalf of the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, today in a letter to the Lower House.
The NODO procedure was drawn up in cooperation with the medical sector. In the event of the death of a minor, there has always been consultation, as of 1 January 2010, between the attending physician and a forensic doctor before a death certificate is issued. The introduction of the new procedure means that a forensic physician will always be engaged in the event of the unexplained and unexpected death of a minor. This forensic doctor will decide, in consultation with the paediatrician, whether the NODO procedure should be commenced. This procedure will take place in two hospitals especially equipped for this purpose, namely the AMC in Amsterdam and the UMC in Utrecht in cooperation with the municipal health services. The new procedure comprises the collection of information (for example from the parents or at the place of death), performing a post-mortem examination, sampling body material and, if necessary, an autopsy. Good communication with the parents is very important in this connection. This will therefore be given the necessary attention.
If there are indications of an unnatural death or if there are doubts about the natural nature of the death, the NODO procedure will cease. The Public Prosecution Service will be contacted in such cases. This is followed by the standard procedure in the event of unnatural death and the Public Prosecution Service will investigate, for example, whether there exists a criminal offence.
State Secretary Teeven assumes that the NODO procedure will enter into effect on 1 October 2012. GGD Nederland will perform the implementation of the procedure. The implementation of this procedure will be accompanied by an evaluation for one year. A decision on whether to continue this investigation will be made on the basis of the findings.