Autopsy fails to identify singer's cause of death
Rob Sharp is a freelance journalist specialising in arts and culture. He was on staff at The Independent from July 2007 to December 2011, first as a features writer, and then as the paper’s arts correspondent. He has written for a wide range of newspapers and magazines. For more information visit his website, www.robsharp.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday 26 July 2011
Amy Winehouse's friends and family may have to wait a month to find out the cause of the singer-songwriter's death, after a post-mortem examination was unable to establish a formal cause.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said yesterday that an "initial examination was inconclusive". He added: "The only option is to do these extra tests. The results of toxicology tests are expected in between two and four weeks.
It also emerged that Universal, the singer's record company, is planning to use profits from fans flocking to buy her music to create a foundation to help treat sufferers from drug addiction.
A source said: "The company is focused on helping the family with the funeral arrangements but they do want to discuss the best way of marking Amy's life.
"Rather than a charity concert they will talk to organisations that deal with addiction and try to create something with lasting value, like a foundation. The proceeds from Amy's record sales will be used altruistically. It will be discussed with the Winehouse family."
The singer's death has also prompted a surge in the number of people seeking help for drug addiction. Google searches for the terms "drug" and "addiction" grew significantly in the wake of the news, while the therapist Sarah Graham said she had seen an increase in people asking for help.
"I am getting frantic parents phoning me because they know someone who has a real problem," she said. "These are people who have known for some time and who needed a wake-up call. The death of a public figure is bringing it home to many that the addiction is an illness that can kill and needs to be dealt with."
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