Inquests for stillborn babies could end the torment of unanswered questions for parents and help to bring down the rate of stillbirths in the UK.
The Government proposes that stillbirths should be investigated by coroners at inquests, like other unnatural deaths. APIL is a not-for-profit group acting for injured people and we wholeheartedly agree. Some of our lawyer members have reported that some parents feel forced to make claims for compensation because it is the only way they can find the answers they need. Parents deserve to know what happened and why their babies did not survive. An inquest, completely independent from a hospital’s own investigations, could provide those answers.
Just as critically, inquests would also provide valuable lessons to help reduce the rate of stillbirths. The Government’s plans only include inquests for full-term still births which is a good starting point. But to be successful in its aim to prevent stillbirths, the Government should commit to extending coronial investigations to the deaths of all unborn babies past 24 weeks.
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)