It can be a very stressful time losing someone who has died in hospital, which can be made even worse by a coroner’s inquest. It is important you understand your rights when an inquest is taking place into the death of a loved one in hospital care.
When the doctor for the individual in question is unable to write up a Medical Certificate since there is reasonable doubt into the cause of death, the Coroner will request a post mortem. If the post mortem reveals the individual died of natural causes, then the medical certificate will be complete. Alternatively, if the post mortem does not conclude that the death was natural, an inquest will be held to ascertain the facts surrounding the death.
The reason an inquest can be so pertinent in cases such as this is because the European Convention of Human Rights states in Article 2 that a person’s Right to Life includes receiving medical care to preserve their life. If that care was neglectful, then that could be in breach of the individual’s right to life.
When your loved one dies in hospital care this falls outside the power of a public authority. Hospitals are regulated by the NHS Trust and the Care Quality Commission, who monitor all deaths which occur that require an inquest. The hospital should automatically call for a coroner’s inquest, should there be any doubt as to the cause of death. If you have any queries concerning the grounds for an inquest, one of our clinical negligence solicitors can give you all the information you need.
Our clinical negligence solicitors are experts in inquests and can prepare and represent you during a hearing. Should you wish to appeal the results of an inquest, Duncan Lewis Clinical Negligence solicitors can help you petition for a judicial review, no later than 3 months after the decision of the earlier inquest.
You are entitled to legal representation when dealing with an inquest into the death of a loved one. If you have any queries relating to the death of someone in a hospital, call Duncan Lewis Action Against Public Authorities solicitors and we can direct you to the correct department for your case.
To enquire about representation for an inquest when someone you know has died in hospital, call Duncan Lewis on 0333 772 0409.