Bodies of Evidence: Medicine and the Politics of the English Inquest, 1830-1926BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7279.180 (Published 20 January 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:180
- Michael F Maltese, freelance writer and historian
- Williams College, Massachusetts, USA
Ian A Burney
Johns Hopkins University Press, £31, pp 176
For centuries, unnatural deaths in England have been subject to the scrutiny of a coroner's inquest—designed to determine a conclusive means of death in cases involving accidental or potentially criminal causation. In Bodies of Evidence Ian Burney chronicles the last century of the inquest, telling the tale of its medical and political reformers.
Inquiry into mysterious deaths was initially seen as a duty of the government, to ensure the safety of its citizenry. In …