Someone's death can often be difficult to come to terms with: this is especially the case when that person is young, has no evidence of illness and dies suddenly. Unfortunately this is often the situation into which families are plunged following the unexpected death of their child.
Whenever someone dies, their death has to be explained to the family, hopefully in terms that can be understood at such a time of raw emotion.
From a legal point of view, each death has to be defined as natural, unnatural or unexplained. A diagnosis of SADS is often one of exclusion – to put it simply, other causes for the loss of the loved one have been ruled out. To reach this diagnosis may involve a postmortem and extensive organ and tissue examination. SADS, though devastating, can therefore be legally described as "natural" and the Coroner will not need be involved further. It is only if the loss cannot be legally described as "natural" that an inquest will take place.
To better understand the process a coroner goes through after every unfortunate death, please see the Coroner Workflow. We also have a detailed view of The Role of The Coroner.
JHMT would like to thank Mrs. Catherine Mason, Senior Coroner for Leicester City and South Leicestershire, for her invaluable support and input.
Further information can be found on http://coroners.leicester.gov.uk