What is a Coroner?
An independent Judicial Officer that presides over a Court of record, and discharges duties in accordance with the Coroners Act 1988, the Coroners Rules 1984, and all other relevant Legislation from time to time.
When may a Doctor report a death to the Coroner?
- When death was violent or unnatural
- The cause of death is unknown
- A medical Certificate is not available
- Death occurred either during an operation or before the patient came out of the anaesthetic
- A medical Certificate suggests that the death may have been caused by some industrial poisoning or disease
- A person that died did not have the benefit of seeing the Doctor who signed the Medical Certificate within 14 days before death or after the death.
- The death was unexplained or sudden
What are the functions of a Coroner?
- To decide whether a post mortem examination is required for the purposes of an investigation, and if so, to give directions to a specialised medical practitioner.
- To fully investigate the relevant circumstances of death of all persons whose bodies lie within the Jurisdiction of the coroners Court, where reasonable belief that the death was violent, unnatural, or as a result of an unknown cause.
- In accordance with Section 8 of the act, to hold an inquest, either with or without the benefit of a jury where so satisfied.
- To notify the Register of Deaths as to the findings of the inquest. In the event that an inquest is not held, the fact that the death so reported does not require to be subject to an inquest.
POST – MORTEMS
The Coroner may decide that a post mortem is required to ascertain as to how a person died, which may be carried out either in a hospital or a mortuary. This cannot be objected to. There is an entitlement to be informed where and when such procedure will take place.
Then the Coroner will release the body for funeral purposes.
PENMAN SEDGWICK CAN PROVIDE SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE THROUGHOUT THE INQUEST .
MS JACQUELINE ALDERTION, Senior Partner