An anomoly in the law prevents inquiries for stillborn babies. Healthy babies die unnecessarily, with coroners powerless to investigate regardless of the level of negligence.

  • Connector.

    No independent enquiries

    The coroner’s role is to inquire into deaths reported to them which may be unnatural for any reason or of unexpected and unknown cause. There is nothing natural about the death of babies.

  • Connector.

    So no deaths are prevented

    The coroner has an important role in trying to prevent further deaths and, after the verdict, the coroner may announce that they will write to any person or authority that has the power to take action to prevent future deaths.

England, Scotland and Wales lag behind


  • In November 2013, Northern Ireland became the first part of the UK to correct the anomoly
  • The Court of Appeal accepted the Attorney General’s argument that the definition of “deceased person” included a baby in the womb capable of being born alive
  • Over 60 stillbirths have subsequently been referred to Northern Ireland Coroners’ Service