Austin's Funeral Guide - The Role of the Coroner

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The role of the coroner...

If the death has occurred in any of the following circumstances, the doctor attending the deceased may decide to report the death to the Coroner:

  • As a result of an accident or injury
  • An industrial disease is suspected
  • During a surgical operation or before recovery from an anaesthetic
  • The death was sudden and unexplained
  • The cause of death is unknown

Where the deceased has not been seen by their doctor within 14 days prior to the death, the death must be reported to the Coroner.

When a death has been referred to the Coroner, registration of the death can not be carried out immediately. You will be contacted by the Coroner’s Officer who will advise you what to do. Please inform us if you have not been contacted within two working days. The Coroner may decide that a post mortem examination should be carried out, the consent of the family is not required. However, the family may wish to be represented at the post mortem examination by a doctor. The family must advise the Coroner if this is the case and he/she will advise them of the time and location of the examination.

If the post mortem examination reveals that the death was due to natural causes the Coroner will issue a Pink Form B. This will usually be sent directly to the Registry Office and the Coroner will advise you when you may attend to register the death. You should attend with the documentation and details given under ‘Registering the Death’, with the exception of the Medical Certificate.

If the deceased is to be cremated, the Coroner will also issue a Certificate for Cremation (Form E) which will be issued to us in order that the arrangements for the funeral may proceed.

If the cause of death remains uncertain following the post mortem examination, the Coroner may request that an inquest be held. This takes the form of a public hearing and the family of the deceased may attend.

Unfortunately, the need for an inquest may delay the funeral arrangements. However, provided no further examination of the deceased is required, the coroner may issue an Order for Burial or certificate for Cremation, which will enable the funeral to take place prior to the conclusion of the inquest.