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December 26, 1936

Foreign Letters

JAMA. 1936;107(26):2141-2147. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770520043018

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LONDON  (From Our Regular Correspondent)Nov. 14, 1936.

Medical Coroners  At present the majority of coroners are lawyers but a minority are physicians. A committee appointed by the government to inquire into the law and practice of coroners' inquests made a report (The Journal, March 21, p. 1018) recommending that in future only lawyers should be appointed to the office of coroner, as the sifting of evidence requires legal training and a coroner without medical knowledge would be fully informed of the medical aspects of the case by the medical witnesses. The British Medical Journal objected to this recommendation. It admitted the desirability of the coroner having legal knowledge but thought it almost essential that he should also have medical knowledge. It pointed out that a large number of persons qualified for both professions. It has been the practice of the London County Council since 1919 to require from candidates

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