ENGLEWOOD, Fla. (WFLA) – Forty-two days after Phyllis Williams Izzo’s death, her death certificate is finally signed and her family is one step closer to moving forward with final arrangements.

Izzo died at home in her bed on June 20, law enforcement said. The medical examiner’s office said the death appeared to be natural. Since neither formally took the case, because it appeared natural, Florida law says a family doctor who saw the person in the past 12 months must sign the certificate and certify a cause of death.

Dr. Charles Eagar refused, saying he wants something in writing from an authority saying the cause of death appeared natural.

This week, the family was able to obtain the incident report from law enforcement that shows no evidence of foul play was observed.

Eagar then signed the certificate, but it remains unclear how long it will take to get the approved death certificate from the state.

As the family waits, Florida’s medical community is watching the case play out.

USF Public Health Professor Jay Wolfson says he respects the doctor’s situation.

“He doesn’t know what kind of other medications the patient may have been prescribed that he doesn’t know that aren’t in his medical records,” Wolfson said.

However, he said Florida law is clear and requires Eagar to sign.

“All he is saying, and I think he has to look very carefully at the language, is that to the best of his understanding and knowledge as a physician who saw… or interacted with the patient within the last 12 months, there was nothing that he knew about that would cause him to believe that patient died from anything except natural causes,” Wolfson said.

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