New guidelines for transportation of dead bodies


Bhubaneswar: In the aftermath of the shocking incident of Dana Majhi who had carried the dead body of his wife on his shoulders, the Odisha government today came up with specific guidelines on transportation of dead bodies from the hospitals.

The Health department has issued the guidelines in a notification by the order of the Governor.

As per the guidelines, the dead body must be treated with all dignity and respect. On no account should a dead body, whether medico legal or non medico legal case (MLC), unclaimed or not, be allowed to be carried on shoulders, or strung on a pole, or in any manner that compromises the dignity of the dead. The body should be carried on a stretcher/cot as far as possible. The body should also be kept appropriately in a designated place till all formalities are disposed of.

For medico legal cases, funds for transport of dead bodies will be provided to all police stations.

Police station in urban areas and rural areas will be provided Rs 1000 and Rs 1500 respectively while they will be provided Rs 2000 in special cases.

Similarly, in cases where the family asks for a dead body carrier, the Collector should give funds as per the General Administration department’s revised guidelines of Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) 2016 whereby poor and needy people can be provided funds under CMRF for transportation of dead bodies from government hospitals to destination within the district subject to maximum of Rs 2000, or as per the guidelines of the Mahaprayan scheme or amendments therein as issued from time to time by the General Administration and Health departments.

Proper coordination between Collectors and SPs is also required for these works. The transportation of dead bodies, last rites, help to bereaved family under different government schemes etc should be ensured through regular coordination meetings and monitoring, the guidelines said.

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In case of patients who expire during treatment at the hospitals, the guidelines say that the Medical Officer during examination or being informed by nursing staff on duty will examine the patient clinically, try to resuscitate and declare death after verifying papillary reflex, corneal reflex, absence of respiration & pulse, continuous absence of heart sound for at least 5 minutes. Wherever possible, ECG should be done to document absence of cardiac activity.

Medical certificate of cause of death in hospital will be filled up by the Medical Officer attending the patient at the time of death. All the above findings regarding patient’s condition must be entered into the bed head ticket by the examining medical officer.

The death in a ward will be recorded in the death register by the concerned Medical Officer declaring death. The register will be in the custody of the Nurse in charge of the ward. Each ward shall have a separate death register.

The detachable death slips form will be filled up by the Medical Officer declaring death and handed over to the next of kin in non medico legal cases.

The hospital authority will transmit death slips form to the Registrar of births and deaths for issue of death certificate. This should be done either by the Medical Superintendent, ADMO or designated person of the hospital.
Normal death cases will be certified by attending Medical Officer, tagged properly with identification tag and handed over to next of kin with a receipt in the dead body register before handing over.

Medico legal death cases will be informed immediately to the local Police Station in the prescribed format.

All brought dead cases are to be examined and declared brought dead as per the procedure by the Casualty Medical Officer on duty and immediately informed to the local police station in the prescribed format with a copy to the person accompanying.

The details of the case must be entered in the brought dead register.

As far as dealing with unclaimed bodies is concerned, the guidelines say when an unidentified person dies in the hospital or an unidentified dead body is received in the hospital, the Medical Officer on duty will immediately report the same to the local police for further action as per Home department resolution.

If any suspicious carriage/movement by some persons of a dead body is detected by hospital staff or security personnel, the person moving the dead body should be asked to produce the death slip failing which such unauthorized movement of body should be stopped and the matter brought to the notice of medical officer/ staff nurse on duty in the institution.

Upon getting such information, the Medical Officer on duty shall verify all documents and only on being satisfied as to their genuineness, shall allow the body to exit the hospital.

The Health department has directed the collectors, SPs, CDMOs, Principals, Medical Superintendents, ADMOs and Hospital Managers to scrupulously follow these guidelines and ensure compliance.

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