What Happens If The Coroner Opens An Inquest Without A Post Mortem

In a small number of cases, the Coroner decides that an inquest to look into the circumstances of the death is needed, but a post mortem examination is not.

This most often happens when an elderly person suffers a fall and later comes down with pneumonia because they cannot move around and clear their chest.  This is technically an unnatural cause of death because the fall was the underlying cause.  Therefore an inquest must, in law, be opened.  However, it is very clear what happened from a medical point of view and there is nothing to be gained from a post mortem examination.

In these cases, the Coroner will open an inquest and there will need to be a formal identification and provision of interim death certificates.

Because we do not need to take time to do a post mortem examination, we can usually release the body for funeral arrangements within 2-3 working days.