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Coroners wrong to say no to post-mortem tissue collection, academics argue
Date:5/9/2011

urrent precautionary measures and to determine if further measures might be necessary.

But following a protracted correspondence with the Chief Medical Officer, the CSEW declined to participate, citing issues including its legality, cost and feasibility, concluding that taking part would "adversely affect the independence of the coronial service and would further erode public confidence".

According to the authors of the paper, "declining to participate in this study was misguided and illustrates a considerable failure by the CSEW to recognise coroners' moral obligation to protect public health".

They add: "The protection of public health is an appropriate and vital obligation of government officials as such protection helps to ensure the conditions necessary for individuals and groups to live healthy and safe lives."

Lead author Catherine McGowan, based in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy at LSHTM, said: "A Chief Coroner one with a clear understanding of the role of the coroner's service in protecting the public good should be able to facilitate this type of public health survey in the future".

"Despite the valiant attempts of the House of Lords to save the proposed position of Chief Coroner from abolition under the Public Bodies Bill, the position is now likely to be axed by the House of Commons. This seems a grave mistake."


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Contact: Paula Fentiman
paula.fentiman@lshtm.ac.uk
020-792-72802
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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