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Deaths Reported to Coroner

Here you will find the complete list of when a death has to be referred to the Coroner.

Coroners are independent judicial officers who investigate deaths reported to them. They will make whatever inquiries are necessary to find out the cause of death, this includes ordering a post-mortem examination, obtaining witness statements and medical records, or holding an inquest.

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A death is reported to a Coroner in the following situations:

  • a doctor did not treat the person during their last illness

  • a doctor did not see or treat the person for the condition from which they died within 28 days of death

  • the cause of death was sudden, violent or unnatural such as an accident, or suicide

  • the cause of death was murder

  • the cause of death was an industrial disease of the lungs such as asbestosis

  • the death occurred in any other circumstances that may require investigation

A death in hospital should be reported if:

  • there is a question of negligence or misadventure about the treatment of the person who died

  • they died before a provisional diagnosis was made and the general practitioner is not willing to certify the cause

  • the patient died as the result of the administration of an anaesthetic

A death should be reported to a Coroner by the police, when:

  • a dead body is found

  • death is unexpected or unexplained

  • a death occurs in suspicious circumstances

A death should be reported by the Governor of a prison immediately following the death of a prisoner no matter what the cause of death is.

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