Sometimes it is not possible for a doctor to issue a Medical Cause of Death Certificate (known as Medical Certificate or Death Certificate). The death may have been sudden or unexplained, the result of industrial disease or an accident, or soon after admission to hospital or a fall, or the doctor may not have seen the deceased in the required amount of time. These are just some of the reasons why a death may be reported to the coroner.
The coroner’s function it is to determine the cause of death in all cases where a doctor has not been able to issue a death certificate. The fact that a death has been reported to the coroner should not give cause for undue alarm. It is simply the process by which the cause of death must be established in cases where a normal death certificate cannot be issued by a doctor.
Sometimes the coroner may be able to deal with the case by consultation with the doctor. The coroner may then agree that the doctor may issue a death certificate and registration of the death can then take place in the normal manner.
In cases that cannot be resolved by consultation between the doctor and coroner, the coroner could require a post-mortem examination to establish the cause of death. The coroner may then allow registration to take place or require an inquest to be opened. The purpose of an inquest is to establish the identity of the deceased, when and how the death took place and the actual cause of death. Following opening the inquest the coroner may then adjourn the inquest and reconvene it at a later date, having gathered relevant information relating to the death. If an inquest is opened, the coroner will issue interim death certificates to allow the next of kin to start administering the deceased estate. You will be advised when the date for the funeral can be arranged and you will also be advised when registration of the death can take place.
Geoff Leather Funeral Directors is fully conversant with all the coroner’s procedures and can advise you fully.
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