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Next of kin clinics
  1. John Drayton1,
  2. Peter S J Ellis1,
  3. Tony Purcell1
  1. 1Department of Forensic Medicine, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, Westmead Hospital, Westmead NSW 2145, Australia

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    We read with interest the considered views of Professor Vanezis and Dr Leadbeatter regarding the role of forensic pathologists dealing with the next of kin of those people whose deaths are subject to medicolegal investigation.1 It might be of interest to your readers to know that the issues raised by the authors have been dealt with at the department of forensic medicine, at Westmead in Sydney for the past decade.

    The department offers a specialist grief counselling service, targeting the needs of families attempting to come to terms with the complications of a coronial investigation at a time of crisis and great distress. The counsellors routinely contact the next of kin in all cases, discussing with them forensic and coronial procedures and outlining the counselling service, which includes individual sessions, group debriefing, and court support. The service operates with the full support of the New South Wales …

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