The role of the coroner
In a small number of cases – where the cause of death is unclear, sudden or suspicious – the doctor or hospital or registrar will report the death to the coroner. This can be particularly traumatic in some cases.
The coroner may conduct a post mortem of the deceased. Once the cause of death has been confirmed, he or she will issue a medical certificate. The registrar cannot register the death until the coroner's decision is made.
The coroner is responsible for discovering the cause of death. Most deaths reported to the coroner are from natural causes, and only a very few need further investigation.
Your local funeral director will be able to advise you on what to do if a coroner needs to become involved.