End the insensitive treatment of bereaved families


Simpson Millar LLP proudly sponsor the British Lung FoundationSimpson Millar LLP actively supports the British Lung Foundation (BLF) and would like to make you aware of their campaign to end the insensitive treatment of bereaved families.

The British Lung Foundation has been approached by a number of families who have been treated in a way that is insensitive to their needs following the death of their loved one from mesothelioma. They are therefore campaigning to improve the treatment of bereaved relatives following a death from this asbestos-related cancer.

As was highlighted in the British Lung Foundation report ‘An Unnatural Death’, when a death from mesothelioma occurs outside of coroner’s working hours the bereaved can be visited by uniformed police in a marked police car, sometimes in the middle of the night. During this time the bereaved are questioned about the cause of death so the coroner can write a report. However, some people who have experienced this say that they found it extremely distressing and that they felt as if they were under suspicion.

The British Lung Foundation believe that coroners’ inquiries should be carried out in a sensitive manner and that the practice of sending uniformed police officers in marked cars to the home of recently bereaved families should be stopped. They also ask clinicians to prepare families for these procedures so that they do not come as a shock to them following the death of their loved one.

The British Lung Foundation is therefore calling on the government to put the needs of bereaved families at the centre of the coroners’ system and for a Chief Coroner to be appointed who will set national standards for the procedures that follow a death from mesothelioma.

In March of this year BLF campaigners e-mailed their MP asking them to support our campaign. As a result of our campaign the Prime Minister has announced that the Coroners and Death Certification Bill is likely to be passed in the coming year.

To make sure the Prime Minister keeps to this pledge the BLF have set up a petition on the Number 10 Downing Street website. The petition asks Gordon Brown to make sure the Bill is passed through Parliament and that it will result coroner’s inquiries being carried out in a way sensitive to the needs of the bereaved.

To get involved please add your name to the petition at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/meso-inquiries/

Further Information – Industrial Disease and Illness

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