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Will the Coroner get involved?

Her Majesty’s Coroners are Judicial Officers (usually Solicitors or Doctors) who are independent of Local or Central Government.

They will establish the cause of death when a Doctor is unable to issue a death certificate which may be due to either of the following:

  • The Doctor had not seen the person within 14 days
  • Death occurred during an operation
  • Death was sudden and unexplained
  • An accident or under suspicious circumstances
  • It is usually necessary for the Coroner to order a Post Mortem examination to establish accurately the cause of death

If the Coroner is satisfied that death was due to natural causes, the correct documentation will
be issued to register the death. This will normally be posted direct to the appropriate Registrar.

If however, the Coroner does not feel a Post Mortem examination is necessary, a Certificate will be issued so that registration can take place in the normal way.

Will there be an Inquest?

If the Coroner decides to hold an Inquest…

A Coroner must hold an inquest if the cause of death is still unknown or if the person:

  • Possibly died a violent or unnatural death
  • Died in prison or police custody

You will not be able to register the death until the Inquest has been concluded. The Coroner
will send a form to the Registrars or an Interim Death Certificate my be issued prior to the
conclusion of the inquest.

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Devon, PL4 7AA

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