News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Coroners will deliver fuller verdicts after inquests

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 12 June 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1284
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    Bereaved people will have greater rights to participate in inquests, and coroners will deliver fuller verdicts emphasising the failures that contributed to deaths, under a package of reforms proposed for the 800 year old coroners system in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

    The two year independent review, which was commissioned by the Home Office, also recommends a much tighter system of certifying deaths to prevent a recurrence of the Harold Shipman affair, in which the Greater Manchester murdered 215 patients over 23 years.

    The 122 changes are aimed at bringing the 12th century office of coroner into the 21st century. Tom Luce, former head of social care policy at the Department of Health and head of the review team, said: “It is important that this forgotten service is updated …

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