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This consultation seeks views on proposed changes to the death certification process and accompanying draft regulations. These changes include the introduction of independent medical examiners who will confirm cause of all deaths that do not need to be investigated by a coroner. The consultation also seeks views about making changes to cremation regulations – the current role of the medical referee, who authorises cremations at a crematorium, will be abolished when medical examiners are introduced.
In this consultation the Ministry of Justice seeks views on introducing a statutory duty on registered medical practitioners to report deaths in prescribed circumstances to the coroner for investigation.
The Welsh Government has devolved powers for appointing medical examiners and the funding mechanism for medical examiner services in Wales; an additional consultation will be published in Wales in due course.
‘Reforming death certification: introducing scrutiny by medical examiners’ details the lessons learnt from pilots of the reforms. The report is based on a new system of scrutiny that has been trialled successfully in Sheffield and Gloucester and on a smaller scale in several other parts of the country. The report explores practical issues associated with the implementation of the reforms at local level. It provides more information about the medical examiner process and should help to inform responses to the consultation.