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David Kelly death: Inquest is a legal right

Paul Vallely ( 21 August ) gives a generally tranquillising overview of the unnatural death of David Kelly. The main concerns of medical doctors must be not about murder theories but the following.

First, there is grave doubt that he could have died as decided by Hutton and as recorded on the death certificate. Second, the diagnosis of suicide is not proven in law; there is no evidence of intent.

And third, the system of inquiry used by Lord Falconer to investigate the death was not the proper way legally to investigate a single unnatural death. The proper procedure is a coroner's inquest, with or without a jury, with witnesses subpoenaed, giving evidence under oath and being fully interrogated.

Paul Vallely shows a very poor undertanding of and respect for the vital importance of the rule of law in suggesting that the decision about a coroner's inquest be left to the family and not to correct due legal process. John Locke stated, "Where law ends, tyranny begins". Just so.

Dr C J Burns-Cox, Consultant Physician, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire

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