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When should a coroner's inquest be held? The Manchester guidelines for pathologists
  1. R Charlton
  1. Centre for Primary Health Care Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK

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    I am grateful to Dr Roberts and colleagues for their important paper and argument to formulate guidelines on when to report a death to the coroner and decisions thereafter.1 This has important implications for practitioners in primary and secondary care. One particular dilemma is when to discuss with the coroner what appears to be a natural death, but where the cause is unknown or where the patient is well known to the practitioner, but has not consulted in the required preceding 14 days. This is compounded by the variation in attitudes of coroners and their officers to such discussions.

    It is indeed a “grey area” where agreed guidelines are required for doctors and coroners so that it can be determined more precisely when necropsies and inquests are …

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