Bereaved Children

The Childhood Bereavement Network has pointed out that:

“Many families experience serious and persistent intrusion into their lives following the publication of details of a death in the press. Misrepresentation or sensationalised details can be particularly difficult when families are trying to explain the circumstances of the death to a child or young person, which is known to be a critical process to aid healthy grieving.”

The Childhood Bereavement Network has made a number of observations:

  • “Bereaved children and young people need to understand the cause of death.”
  • “Gossip in local communities can impair children and young people’s ability to build an accurate picture of what has happened. It can upset them greatly and be seen as disrespectful to the person who has died. Coroners should take this into account when liaising with the press.”
  • “Some family members find it difficult to communicate with each other following a death. Coroners must be aware that sometimes one member of the family cannot represent the whole, and must make arrangements for all interested parties to be involved.”
  • “Coroners must be aware that it is natural for family members not to speak openly. This can be especially relevant with regard to children. Adults in the family often have an inbuilt desire to protect which can leave children with an incomplete picture, together with a sense that this subject is not to be talked about. Often a more emotionally neutral third party like a Coroner or specialised child bereavement service can be a useful starting point to give parents the confidence to involve their children in matters that affect them greatly.”

Clinical Negligence News