THL, the National Institute for Health and Welfare, is the competent authority in charge of forensic medicine in Finland under legislation that entered into force as of the beginning of 2010.
Minutes concerning the forensic post-mortem examination, a statement on the cause of death and the manner of death, and the death certificate are submitted to the police when they have been completed.
The police is responsible for providing information to the next of kin on the cause of death: the death certificate and the statement on the cause of death and the manner of death.
Permission for burial is granted to the next of kin or the authority who will bury the deceased immediately when the post-mortem has been performed and notification concerning the death is then submitted to the population register (the relevant local register office).
Under the regulations in force at present, death certificates are submitted for verification either to the Regional State Administrative Agency within whose region the deceased was domiciled at the time of death or, in Southern Finland, South-Western Finland, Northern Finland and Lapland to the Department of Forensic Medicine at the University of Helsinki, Turku and Oulu, respectively. The Regional State Administrative Agencies convey the death certificates to the THL medicolegal officers responsible for verification. In Åland, death certificates are submitted for verification to the Government of Åland (Ålands landskapsregering).
The Finnish Act and Decree on establishing the cause of death cover the following: