A tale of two inquests

a vulnerability analysis of coronial inquests in two cases of elder neglect

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Abstract

This article analyses the findings of two 2018 Australian coronial inquests: the first into the death by neglect of Marcia Clark in the state of New South Wales, the second the manslaughter of Janet Lois Mackozdi in Tasmania. Applying vulnerability theory to the context-specific situation of a coronial inquest into the death of an older person who has been neglected, may help to inform safeguarding policies by highlighting a specific vulnerability or combinations of vulnerabilities that should trigger State intervention. This article seeks to explore whether vulnerability theory could therefore contribute to improvements in how the deaths of older people are investigated and reported by Coroners.
Part one of the paper outlines the existence and causes of extreme neglect leading to the death of older persons and views these situations through the lens of vulnerability theory. In the second part of the paper, two Australian coronial inquests into the deaths of older women are examined, to assess whether vulnerability theory might provide a useful framework for the application of Coronial powers and to suggest reforms to Australian Coronial law.
Original languageEnglish
JournalElder Law Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Sep 2019

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Keywords

  • elder abuse
  • Vulnerability
  • Coronial Inquests
  • Neglect

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