Outspoken coroner criticises cause-of-death omission plan

Death certificate under forthcoming regulations will not mention how a person dies

Coroner for South Kerry Terence Casey said: “I have been speaking openly for the last couple of years about suicide, trying to bring it home to people it’s not something to be hidden - it’s to be talked about to try to reduce the number of deaths by suicide.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Coroner for South Kerry Terence Casey said: “I have been speaking openly for the last couple of years about suicide, trying to bring it home to people it’s not something to be hidden - it’s to be talked about to try to reduce the number of deaths by suicide.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

The coroner for South Kerry, Terence Casey, has criticised plans to exclude the cause of death from new death certificates. Mr Casey who has been outspoken on suicide and its prevalence in Kerry said the plans confirmed by Tánaiste Joan Burton, in the Dáil, will “totally and absolutely reverse what I have been doing”.

The new death certificate would not mention how a person died. “I have been speaking openly for the last couple of years about suicide, trying to bring it home to people it’s not something to be hidden – it’s to be talked about to try to reduce the number of deaths by suicide. This will totally and absolutely reverse what I have been trying to do,” Mr Casey said.

Ms Burton has said she is aware of the distress caused to families of those who die in tragic circumstances and the impact of having the cause of death on the certificate.

As a result, she said the drafting of the regulations to allow for the omission of the cause of death from a death certificate is at an advanced stage.