Letters: Cremation forms do offer welcome improvements

I do not fully agree with Dr Anita Sharma's letter (GP, 27 March) about the new cremation forms.

She is right that there should be a request for the date of birth to confirm identity, but there have been some improvements.

It is now clear that discussion with the second GP for Form 5 (part two) can legally take place by telephone.

There is a paragraph of free text requested to justify the cause of death given and exclude any suspicious circumstances.

I would tend to take this very seriously and expect to see documented what led to the diagnoses, such as a biopsy, and the patient's course of decline before death. Any specialist opinions from correspondence could be mentioned.

I think this section derives from Dame Janet Smith's inquiry into Dr Harold Shipman.

Dr Max Patrick, Middlesbrough

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