Medical referees

The role of a medical referee is to scrutinise specific information on the circumstances leading to death. The referee must:
  • be certain that the deceased has died from natural circumstances
  • establish that there is no indication of any non-natural process
  • determine that cremation can safely proceed.

The medical referee can then issue the permit to cremate.


Medical referees are appointed by the Governor. Medical referees must have practised medicine for not less than 5 years.

Applications for appointment as a medical referee are to be made to the Director General, Department of Health, marked Attention to the Principal Medical Adviser, Public Health.

There are no prescribed forms for the application, but at a minimum the following information must be provided:

  • letter explaining the reason for the application
  • contact details of the applicant
  • copy of current registration as a medical practitioner in Western Australia
  • curriculum vitae.

These documents will be forwarded to the Governor for consideration.

Produced by

Public Health