Mindfulness and Coroner Procedure

When: 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Wed 16th May
The Black Horse
166 Friargate
The Black Horse

1. Following a judicial review brought by a jewish group in London the High Court has ruled that a coroner was wrong to impose a policy of first-come-first-served when it comes to expediting the release of bodies for burial.

The background to this, in brief, is that some religious groups want their relatives to be buried very quickly after death, in some cases within 24 hours. This was being denied them when officers in the coroner’s department were facing high workloads, and had lead to heated and repeated phone calls with relatives – in one case over 200 calls from one person alone. The body was released in 4 days, following a post-mortem, and this lead to the group requesting the review of the coroner’s policy.

Prominent politicians have been quick to condemn the coroner (see this article) https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2018/05/well-all-suffer-if-we-let-religion-dictate-how-public-servants-do-their-jobs.

Should society adopt a more understanding attitude towards the disposal of bodies at what is a very difficult time for relatives, or was the coroner right to have her “taxi rank” policy? What do you feel about the response of politicians in this case?

2. Mindfulness is a technique much in vogue at the moment and according to the NHS website;

“Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better….. This lets us stand back from our thoughts and start to see their patterns. Gradually, we can train ourselves to notice when our thoughts are taking over and realise that thoughts are simply ‘mental events’ that do not have to control us.”

Is this not simply self-brainwashing? Are we being encouraged to dismiss anything in our thoughts that may be negative or worrying? Or is mindfulness a really useful tool to let us see what really matters and put to one side damaging thought patterns?