Sudden deaths are those for which the decedent was not under the care of a medical doctor within three months of death and/or whose cause of death is under any suspicion of foul play. Violent deaths, as the name suggests are those that occurred under violent circumstances such as stabbing, shooting and suicide.
Before these deaths are registered, there must be the involvement of the Police.
When a person dies suddenly or violently:
- An autopsy or post mortem is required and a police officer orders this to be performed and is present
- The Pathologist will complete the post mortem
- The police officer issues the Burial Order to the person responsible for burial
- The police will then deliver the Post Mortem signed by the Pathologist or Medical Doctor to the Coroner's Court
- If an investigation is deemed necessary the Coroner will issue a Certificate of Coroner (Form D). This Form D will be used by the Registrar General’s Department’s Local District Registrar (LDR) to register the death preliminarily
- If the Coroner decides that there is no need for an investigation as no foul play is suspected he/she will indicate this on the Post Mortem
- This Post Mortem will be used to register the death with the Coroners Certificate
- As soon as possible after the issue of the Form D and at the option of the Coroner after the requested hearing a Coroner’s Certificate of Finding of Jury (Form E) will be issued identifying who is criminally responsible and the cause of death