Alive vs Dead

Heather Leslie heather.leslie at
Tue Jan 5 01:43:30 EST 2016

Hi everyone,

Seeking some advice please.

In the context of a data registry or research database to record if a person is alive or dead. Maybe there might be an alternative value of 'unsure' or 'indeterminate' as well, I guess.

I'm wondering if there is any naming convention for this data element - I've come across 'Alive status' and 'Vital status' by googling and researching all the places I can think of. Surprisingly there seems very little available on the topic. SNOMED CT has alive and dead within the 'General clinical state finding (finding)' hierarchy, although 'deceased' is part of the 'Finding related to general body function (finding)' hierarchy.

'Living status' was proposed on a forum, but seems a bit weird if they are dead.

To add to the confusion, the requirements I am modelling uses the name 'Status' (which needs some sort of archetype context) and the values are 'Alive' and 'Deceased' which cross the SNOMED CT hierarchies!

We could just be very pragmatic and label the data element 'Alive vs Dead?'

Curious problem - I thought there would be more on the internets :).

Any wisdom you can share would be most appreciated.

And then I guess we need to think of related data elements that might be grouped with this status.



Consulting Lead, Ocean Informatics<>
Clinical Programme Lead, openEHR Foundation<>
p: +61 418 966 670   skype: heatherleslie   twitter: @omowizard

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