Odisha makes death certificate mandatory to take body from hospital

Bhubaneswar: In the wake of the repeated reports of dead body being carried on shoulder, the State government today issued strict guidelines barring the medical authorities to hand over the body to the kin without death certificate.

The new rules issued by the commissioner-cum-secretary of Health department Pramod Meherda said the medical officer would apprise the relatives of the dead person about the arrangements made for the transportation of body. The guidelines further stated that a whatsapp group including CDMO, BDO, Tehsildar would be created.

This apart, the kin of the deceased would be informed about the fund arrangement for transportation of body. The medical authorities would also receive an acknowledgement from the deceased’s relative. If the family members of the deceased are interested to make their own arrangements, they would have to give their consent in written to the concerned hospital. Otherwise, the medical authorities would have to make all arrangements to treat the body with dignity.

The post-Dana Majhi issue, the State government had ordered state’s health facilities in October last year to ensure that the dead are treated with dignity and respect.

On no account should a dead body, whether Medico Legal Case (MLC) or non-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 State’s health department had said in a notification.

The body should be carried on a stretcher/cot as far as possible and it should also be kept appropriately in a designated place till all formalities are over, the notification had added.

While police stations in rural areas would get Rs. 1,500 for transportation of the bodies, Rs. 1,000 in case of urban areas and Rs. 2,000 for “unusual cases.”

If a family asks for a hearse, the district collector would give aid from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for transportation of the body from government hospital to the destination of the relative within the district.
The collector can sanction a maximum of Rs. 2,000, or as per the guidelines of the State’s Mahaprayan scheme.