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Coroners Act 1988

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20 Request to specially qualified person to make post-mortem and special examinations.E+W

(1)Without prejudice to the power of a coroner holding an inquest to direct a medical witness whom he may summon under section 21 below to make a post-mortem examination of the body of the deceased, the coroner may, at any time after he has decided to hold an inquest—

(a)request any legally qualified medical practitioner to make a post-mortem examination of the body or a special examination of the body or both such examinations; or

(b)request any person whom he considers to possess special qualifications for conducting a special examination of the body to make such an examination.

(2)If any person who has made a post-mortem or special examination in pursuance of such a request is summoned by the coroner as a witness, he may be asked to give evidence as to his opinion upon any matter arising out of the examination, and as to how, in his opinion, the deceased came by his death.

(3)Where a person states upon oath before the coroner that in his belief the death of the deceased was caused partly or entirely by the improper or negligent treatment of a medical practitioner or other person, that medical practitioner or other person—

(a)shall not be allowed to perform or assist at any post-mortem or special examination made for the purposes of the inquest into the death; but

(b)shall have the right, if he so desires, to be represented at any such post-mortem examination.

(4)In this section “special examination”, in relation to a body, means a special examination by way of analysis, test or otherwise of such parts or contents of the body or such other substances or things as ought in the opinion of the coroner to be submitted to analyses, tests or other examination with a view to ascertaining how the deceased came by his death.

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