Post Mortems and Inquests
The Law Officers of the Crown in Guernsey perform the function of a Coroner. It is their duty to investigate deaths in particular circumstances, and they will authorise a post-mortem if it is necessary to establish the cause of death.
A post-mortem is a medical examination carried out by a pathologist.
If a post-mortem is ordered by a Law Officer, it must take place by law.
The family, if they feel it necessary, can also request a post-mortem. Once this has taken place, and if the cause of death has been established as natural causes, a death certificate will be issued and arrangements for the funeral can be made.
If the family require further explanation of the cause of death, a copy of the post- mortem report can be requested to be sent to the doctor of the deceased who can talk the family through its findings.
In certain circumstances - if the death was due to an accident, if there are unexplained circumstances which require resolution or if the post mortem does not establish the cause of death - an inquest may be required.
An inquest is a legal examination of the circumstances and medical cause of the death. This is usually held in public. The Family Liaison Officer from the Police should provide you with information regarding an inquest and the reasons for it taking place.