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In memoriam.
Sudden Death and the Coroner

Booklet content © Victims Voice 2002                             Web design © Tim Finucane 2009



Organ and tissue donation when the coroner is informed
of the death


Organ donation must be considered very soon after death and unless you were aware that your relative carried a donor card and a ventilator is used, donation may not be possible. There are strict time limits for organ donation, but some tissues can be removed at a post mortem. If you wish to consider donation, a Donor Transplant or Tissue Coordinator can help and advise you and can be contacted by the coroner's officer or hospital staff. The coroner must agree to any donation before it takes place.


Organ Retention

See Section 10.

Deaths Abroad


If someone who died abroad is repatriated for burial or cremation and the person died in circumstances that would require the death to be reported to the coroner (see Section 2), the coroner at the port of entry is required to enquire into the death. However, jurisdiction will normally be transferred to the coroner responsible for the district where the funeral is to be held.


Data Protection Act 1998


You must be asked if you wish to be contacted by any organisation. No personal details should be given to anyone without your consent, which should be recorded. If you are contacted or visited without your consent, you can object to this by writing to the Information Commissioner. (Section 28)


Law relating to Coroners


The Coroners Act 1988 and Coroners Rules 1984 determine the statutory rules and procedures under which coroners work. The information given in this booklet is not intended to be an exact interpretation of coroner law and applies to England and Wales only.


In Northern Ireland, deaths are reported as in England and Wales, but there are differences in the rules and procedures. The Northern Ireland coroner's office dealing with a death should be contacted for further information. Deaths which should be referred to the coroner in England and Wales should be referred to the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland, where the law is different and a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) may be held.