Patient confidentiality after death -- can you disclose information?

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      In this article, the author presents his views on the question of whether physicians should follow the code of confidentiality even if the patient is deceased. If the physician had been asked to provide a statement to the coroner, he would have been obliged to do so and would not have needed the authority of the patient's next of kin or personal representative. But any other police officer making inquiries into the circumstances of a person's death would usually need the consent of the personal representative of the estate before detailed information could be released, unless the situation justified a breach in confidentiality.