The Co-operative Funeralcare - Your Guide to a Funeral



If the Coroner is involved

The majority of deaths notified to the Coroner are completely natural but the cause of death is not certain. It is a legal requirement in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that the cause of death is known and recorded. Scottish Law is similar. Examples of deaths which are referred to a Coroner are either; those where the cause of death is not known (as a result of an accident and/or resulting from medical treatment) or which are suspicious. The police or a doctor informs the Coroner. The Coroner is a senior and independent judicial officer and has Coroner’s officers working for them, who carry out investigations for the Coroner. Usually someone from the Coroner’s office will speak to the nearest relative or their representative, as well as any doctors who have been looking after the deceased, before deciding if a post- mortem examination is necessary. This is an external and internal examination of the deceased. It is normally possible to view and dress the deceased as usual after the examination. Please tell the Coroner’s office if you object to post-mortem examination for any reason, but it may be a legal requirement about which you have no choice. You do have the right to be represented at the examination, but most people find this unnecessary. The purpose of the examination is to determine the cause of death and it is not done for research or any other purpose. It may be necessary to keep very small samples of tissue and fluid from the deceased for further testing. You will be told if this is necessary and given a choice about what happens to the samples in the future.

Immediate concerns

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