The Coroner

There are a number of reasons why a death may have to be referred to the Coroner and under such circumstances special procedures may be necessary. However they should not give cause for undue alarm.

The Coroner is a judicial office, quite independent of local and central government, who is required to act in accordance with certain laws. Any sudden or unexplained death must be reported to the coroner. Even if a death is expected and the deceased has not been seen by his G.P. for 14 days prior to the death the Coroner must be informed. It is the Coroner’s duty to ascertain the cause of death and to investigate any unusual circumstances.

Sometimes a Coroner may be able to ascertain by simple enquiry whether the death was due to natural causes and that there is a doctor able to issue a death certificate. If this is not the case the Coroner may require a post mortem examination. If after a post mortem, the cause of death is other than a natural one, the coroner by law has to hold an inquest.

When a death has been reported to the coroner, the cause of death certificate will be sent directly to the registrar by the coroner. You will be informed when this is done and be able to register the death.

Your Funeral Director is fully conversant with the likely causes for referral to the Coroner and will be able to advise you of any action that may be necessary.