Link to Coroner Nigel Meadow's talk at the APRIL 2008 Conference
or paste this link: http://vimeo.com/16115327
If you are related to, or the partner of the deceased and suspect medicines played a part in their death, either taken by them or by a person that caused their death, you can request this should be investigated. You should request all medical records from the GP and from the hospital. Including details of anaesthetics used if applicable.
A Clinical Pharmacologist, expert witness will sometimes be called in. You too can do some research to find papers written about the particular medicine or group of medicines the product is in.
Coroners have not found it easy to find the information they require to assess the part medicines play in deaths. The family and the Coroner can apply to APRIL charity for information and it may be possible for an expert witness to be called in respect of suspected medication linked deaths.
Coroners can send in Yellow Card reports of adverse drug reactions which only have to be suspected and not proven. They do not have to produce proof the drug caused the death. They can also use Rule 43 which enables reports of facts & circumstances to be included on the Coroners Database.
Some people are on a cocktail of drugs, that may interact, or have used alcohol while taking medication such as antidepressants, which may increase the risk of violence including self harm.
Drugs that have been linked to suicides include:
- Acne medication including Roaccutane (Accutane) and Dianette (cyproterone acetate Anaesthetics
- Anti-malarial drugs Lariam (mefloquine) and Avloclor (chloroquine)
- Cardiac drugs
- Contraceptive pills
- Cortico-steroids including Prednisolone)
- Pain killers - such as Co-proxamol (distalgesic)
- Proton Pump Inhibitor known as Zoton (lansoprazole)
- SSRI & SNRI Antidepressants including Seroxat (paroxetine) Prozac (fluoxetine), Cipramil (Citalopram) Effexor (venlafaxine) Mirtazapine (Zispin)
At a difficult time, when you are grieving, the press may contact you. You may be willing to share information but if you have problems in this area the following information we received from the PCC may be of help to you:
The Press Complaints Commission
The Press Complaints Commission is the independent body that regulates the newspaper and magazine industry in the UK. It deals with complaints about the editorial content of newspapers and magazines, trains journalists and can assist with problems relating to so-called media scrums.
Many of the complaints the Commission deals with – and indeed many of the incidents that lead to its proactive liaison work – relate to media interest in a death. We wanted to let you know that the PCC has recently released new guidance aimed at people who have suffered a bereavement and who, for whatever reason, find themselves facing attention from the media.
The guidance is produced as a leaflet and is also available to download from the PCC website - http://www.pcc.org.uk/assets/482/Media_attention_following_a_death_web_version.pdf. We hope that it will be an invaluable tool to all those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, or who may be supporting someone who has (for example, via a bereavement support group, or those who work as police communicators or family liaison officers).
The advice includes:
- - what to do if a friend or relative of the deceased wants to speak to the press (and how such contact can be arranged), and what to do if they do not;
- - information about material available on social networking sites;
- - how to prevent unwanted approaches from journalists or photographers;
- - how to make concerns clear to the press both pre- and post-publication;
- - what can happen when deaths occur abroad.
Hard copies of the leaflet can be requested from Tonia Milton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We also wanted to remind you that when a media storm breaks, the Press Complaints Commission is available for: help with reducing media scrums; pre-publication assistance; and informal advice. Its experienced complaints officers are on hand 24 hours a day. For contact details go to: http://www.pcc.org.uk/contact/index.html
We are very happy to answer any questions you might have, so please do not hesitate to contact us. We hope you find this information helpful and please feel free to pass on this email to anyone you think might benefit from knowing about our services.
Press Complaints Commission
20/23 Holborn, London EC1N 2JD
Tel: 020 7831 0022
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ukpcc
Read what people who used the PCC’s services in 2010 have to say about us: http://www.pcc.org.uk/review10/