Differences in forensic pathology practice between Scotland and England

Med Sci Law. 1998 Oct;38(4):283-8. doi: 10.1177/002580249803800403.


Scotland and England are part of the United Kingdom but have separate legal systems. These legal differences have a substantial effect on forensic pathology practice, and are probably best appreciated by those pathologists who have worked on both sides of the border. This paper seeks to highlight the differences in forensic pathology practice between Scotland and England, discussing the investigation of death in both countries. It concludes that a knowledge of the Scottish procurator fiscal system of death investigation may be beneficial to those contemplating changes to the coroner system. All three authors have practised forensic pathology in Scotland and England or Wales.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Autopsy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Cause of Death
  • Coroners and Medical Examiners / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Death, Sudden / pathology*
  • England
  • Humans
  • Scotland