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Doctors, death certificates and reporting to coroners — room for improvement

Susan J MacCallum and Antoinette C Anazodo
Med J Aust 2014; 200 (5): 263. || doi: 10.5694/mja13.00052
Published online: 17 March 2014

To the Editor: The article by Neate and colleagues1 and the accompanying editorial by Cordner2 serve as a timely reminder that, despite sophisticated imaging and pathology tests, cause of death is not always clear. Neate et al found that the cause of death as stated on the death certificate required a major change in nearly half the cases reviewed.1 This has criminal and public health implications, and feedback to clinicians caring for the patient is crucial.

  • Susan J MacCallum1
  • Antoinette C Anazodo2

  • 1 SEALS (South Eastern Area Laboratory Services) Haematology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Sydney Youth Cancer Service, Sydney Children’s Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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