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Suicide: Gambling

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL1453, tabled on 7 February 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to amend the list of circumstances in which a registered medical professional has a duty to notify a relevant senior coroner of a death to include suicide as a result of problem gambling.

Answered on

20 February 2020

Under the Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019, registered medical practitioners are required to notify the coroner of a death in specified circumstances, which include cases of suspected self-harm or where the cause of death is unknown. As part of the notification process, the medical practitioner must tell the coroner which of the specified circumstances they believe apply to the death. The guidance for registered medical practitioners (published in September 2019 and available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notification-of-deaths-regulations-2019-guidance) makes clear that, in most cases, the practitioner should provide the coroner with a detailed narrative explanation of the likely cause of death.

In practice, therefore, a requirement already exists for cases of suspected suicide – which would include suicide as a result of problem gambling – to be notified to the coroner and, consequently, the Government has no plans to amend the 2019 Regulations in this regard.