Suspicious or unexplained deaths among men 'more likely' to be reported by doctors than among women

Inquests into reported female deaths are half as likely, and there is less chance of doctors referring women's deaths to coroner in the first place

Doctors are more likely to report a man’s death to a coroner than a woman’s, a study has found.

And once the coroner receives a report of unexplained death, he or she is twice as likely to hold an inquest if it is a man who died.

Research published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology looked at Government statistics which record instances when a doctor decides they cannot issue a medical certificate, and instead refer the death for a coroner to investigate.

Across a 10-year period, medical staff referred the deaths of 49 per cent of men, compared to just 39 per cent of women.

Just 8 per cent of those female deaths then resulted in a formal inquest, as opposed to 16 per cent of male deaths.

The authors of the report also noted huge regional variations in these proportions, saying: “Some coroners seem especially 'gendered' in their decision-making in that they are consistently more likely to favour a particular verdict according to the sex of the deceased.”

They added that in general: “Deaths of women in England and Wales are less likely to be reported to the coroner than deaths of men.

“Female deaths reported are less likely to proceed to inquest than male deaths, and female deaths proceeding to inquest are less likely to result in a verdict of unnatural death than male deaths.”

And the study observed that while around 46 per cent of all registered deaths across both genders are reported to the coroner, the percentage varies considerably depending on where the person died.

In Stamford, Lincolnshire, just 12 per cent of deaths were reported compared to 87 per cent of deaths in Plymouth and south Devon.

The analysis of Ministry of Justice statistics comes just a week after the set of laws designed to overhaul the “postcode lottery” of inquests came into force.

Then Justice Minister Helen Grant said: “We are making absolutely sure that the needs of bereaved people are put first and foremost – and that this is done consistently around the country.”

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

    Recruitment Genius: Professional Sales Trainee - B2B

    £15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: First things first - for the av...

    Recruitment Genius: Creative Web and UI Designer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced creative web and...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

    £17000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity is now ...

    Day In a Page

    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific
    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    Dame Colette Bowe - interview
    When do the creative juices dry up?

    When do the creative juices dry up?

    David Lodge thinks he knows
    The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

    Fashion's Cher moment

    Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
    Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

    Health fears over school cancer jab

    Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
    Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

    Weather warning

    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
    LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

    High hopes for LSD

    Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
    German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

    Saving Private Brandt

    A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral