Coronial consideration of patient deaths in paramedicine

Dominique Lee Moritz

Abstract


During the course of a paramedic’s duties, it is inevitable that they will deal with patient death in some way. Australia’s coronial system is a safeguard to ensure deaths are investigated where their cause is not immediately known, or the circumstances surrounding the death is unusual.

This article considers three recent coronial inquests involving paramedic care in Australia; identifies the significant observations that can be made from analysing the paramedics’ actions during patient treatment; and comments on how the coronial system can be used to improve patient outcomes.

 


Keywords


public policy; coronial system; law

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References


Middleton S, Buist M. The coronial reporting of medical-setting deaths: a legal analysis of the variation in Australian jurisdictions. Melbourne University Law Review 2014;37:699.

Freckelton I. The evolving institution of coroner. Alternative Law Journal 1999;24:156.

Young J. Speaking for the dead to protect the living: the role of the coroner and the Shipman Inquiry. Br J Gen Pract 2004;54:162.

Inquest into the Death of Stacey Louise Yean (Coroner’s Court of Victoria, Coroner Byrne, 23 March 2017).

Inquest into the Death of Ruby Yan Chen (Coroner’s Court of Rockhampton, Coroner O’Connell, 12 December 2014).

Moritz D. Lights and sirens: how coronial inquests can highlight challenges in paramedic regulation. J Law Med 2017;24:616.

Inquest into the Death of Thomas Andrew Olive (Coroner’s Court of Maroochydore, Coroner Lock, 5 August 2014).


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The Official Journal of Paramedics Australasia © 2018                           ISSN: 2202-7270