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Reviewable deaths

A reviewable death is the death of a second (or subsequent) child of a particular parent or parents.

Parents include step-parents, adoptive and foster parents, guardians and anyone who has custody or daily care and control of the child.

Reviewable deaths do not include children who are stillborn, or who lived their entire lives in hospital.

The death must be connected with Victoria

The coroner must be notified of the above, if:

  • the body is in Victoria
  • the death occurred in Victoria
  • the cause of the death occurred in Victoria
  • the person ordinarily resided in Victoria at the time of death.

Who reports a reviewable death?

Medical practitioners or Births, Deaths and Marriages will tell us when they identify a reviewable death.

If you believe a death has not been reported but should be, please contact us.

What happens when a reviewable death is reported?

The coroner will assess whether the death requires investigation.

The coroner may refer a reviewable death to the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine to assess the health and safety of any other siblings, as well as the health of the parent/s.

Why does the coroner investigate reviewable deaths?

Coroners investigate reviewable deaths to:

  • determine the identity of the child who died
  • determine the cause of their death and, in some cases, the circumstances
  • assess the family’s health needs
  • assess, with other agencies, the needs of living siblings or any risk to other children.
Last updated on 26 Nov 2018