Coronial Practice In Case Of Patient Fall

In modern legal practice, numerous perspectives exist regarding coronial functions. The coroner’s functions are diverse, leading to various perceptive roles, which include protective, public health, therapeutic jurisprudence, death investigative, civil liberties, and human rights. In this case, the coroners play a critical role in attaining human rights about the outcomes of the investigations on how the death of an individual is presumed to occur. The roles of a coroner are significantly influenced by the jurisdiction of the country, which gives or limits the extent to which they can use their powers. When a patient falls out of bed, strikes their head on the floor, and dies of subdural hematoma days later, a coroner’s investigation is necessary to determine how the death occurred.

Generally, coroners are vested with the power and duty to pronounce the death of an individual and determine the time of their death. The law also gives them the authority to investigate the scene to determine the cause and manner in which an individual died (Australia, 2012, p. 7). The law in most states requires that the dead body of an individual should not be taken away from its death place until a coroner arrives at the scene and investigate the death (Tortora and Derrickson, 2017, p. 20). The process not only investigates for physical evidence within the scene but also entails scene interviews and follow-up investigations and the circumstances that may have led to the death event (Bullock and Manias, 2016). According to my experience with the coroner, immediate individuals who interacted with the individual before the death, like the family, physicians, and friends, were interviewed. Coroners produced such interviews, health records of the deceased, and other materials available that would provide additional information to provide a clear picture of the situation.

After the death investigation, the coroner took custody of the dead body. According to the case, the individual’s death was unnatural, and therefore critical skills were required to ensure that evidence of the death was preserved (Tortora and Derrickson, 2017, p. 26). The coroner then took the body to forensic facilities for further investigation, like autopsies and other tests (Curtis et al., 2015; Jarvis, 2020, p. 20). Information was then compared to the scene data, clinical history, and antemortem, criminal, and psychological information to obtain any missing links that may enhance the understanding of the actual cause of death.

The coroner used this information to identify the individual through the deceased fingerprints, radiological records, dental records, and DNA. Such information is then used to identify the next keen-for-death notifications (Australia, 2012, p. 6). The coroner ensured constant communication with the deceased’s family to advise them on the investigation results, assist them in the disposition of the body, and issue them with a death certificate.

The emergency department is perceived as the area in the healthcare setting where most deaths occur. In this department, errors like misdiagnosis, improper performance of procedures, delay of treatments, improper discharge, and medical mistakes are the key causes of patient deaths (Cameron et al., 2019, p. 25). Due to this reason, coroners are then used to determine the root cause of such deaths to ensure that they give justice to the deceased’s family. Without such investigations, medical practitioners may become reckless when dealing with emergencies leading to increased patient death.

In conclusion, coroners are government officials who play a critical role in ensuring that individual deaths are investigated and the cause of death identified. Their roles ensure that individuals do not get away with murder. In medical settings, coroners ensure that healthcare professionals execute their jobs ethically, considering the health and safety of the patients. Therefore, coroners play a critical role in society through their protective, public health, therapeutic jurisprudence, death investigative, civil liberties, and human rights roles.

Reference List

Australia, W. (2012). Review of coronial practice in western Australia. Web.

Bullock, S, and Manias, E. (2016) Fundamentals of pharmacology (8th edn), Pearson Education, NSW.

Cameron, P, Brown, A, Jelinek, G, Kelly, A, Murray, L. (eds) (2019). Textbook of adult emergency medicine (5th edn). Amsterdam. Elsevier.

Curtis, K. and Ramsden, C. (2015). Emergency and trauma care for nurses and paramedics. Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier Science Health Science.

Jarvis, C. (2020). Physical examination and health assessment (8th edn). Saunders, St Louis.

Tortora, G and Derrickson, B (2017). Principles of anatomy and physiology (15th edn). John Wiley & Sons, USA