Coroner’s inquest

There may come a time when treatments are no longer working for your relative or friend and you have to prepare for their death. At such a difficult time, it can be even harder if you don’t already know that when someone dies of mesothelioma, there will need to be an inquest. This is a legal investigation into the circumstances surrounding a person’s death.

An inquest is needed because mesothelioma is an occupational disease. When a person with mesothelioma dies, the doctor who signs the death certificate must inform the Coroner (the procurator fiscal in Scotland) who will carry out the inquest. The need for an inquest will usually mean that there is a short delay before your relative or friend’s funeral can take place. The Coroner will issue an interim death certificate in most cases. This is because a full certificate cannot be issued until after the inquest is completed and that may take some months.

The coroner will decide if a post-mortem is needed to find out whether the death was due to mesothelioma or some other cause. In many situations, a post-mortem isn’t needed if there’s enough medical evidence to confirm the person had mesothelioma. This evidence may come from biopsies that were taken when the person was first diagnosed with mesothelioma.

It can be distressing when you have to deal with these issues as well as the possible death of your relative or friend. You may wish to get support from your specialist nurse or a support organisation. You can also call the Macmillan Support Line free on 0808 808 00 00.

Back to After death

After death

There will be practical tasks to do after someone dies, but take your time and ask for help if you need it.


You will probably feel a range of emotions when someone you care about dies.