Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Procedure IS REQUIRED for issue of Death Certificates

It is farcical to know that here in Sri Lanka, that you cannot bury or cremate without a death certificate, and worse, you cannot do the normal procedures of handling the affairs of the deceased until the death certificate is obtained.

If one reads the link, if the Government Analyst has NOT been able to ascertain the cause of death, a death certificate CANNOT be issued. Everyone agrees that the person has died, and his body is there as evidence, so why don’t they issue a death certificate so that the next of kin can get on with the normal arrangements.

The death certificate MAY state that the Cause of death is yet unknown, and that is up to some investigation, and that is acceptable for paying out of certain life insurance policies. Further if there is some foul play that resulted in the death, then the Death Certificate may give some indication that the Body cannot be cremated as it may be required to be exhumed for future investigation if the need arises. Further certain body parts may be held for investigation, if there is cause to do so.

Lets face it. You only have to read the link to the actually incidents that were reported in last Sunday’s Times, to realize that it is ridiculous for people to suffer due to the natural delays at the Government Analysts department, which can be due to many different reasons. Sometimes due to the lack of scientific testing equipment, it may be required to send samples overseas for investigation as to the cause of death, as it could result in a crime being committed or some similar unknown event that requires further investigation.

A person is dead and if there is evidence of death ISSUE A DEATH CERTIFICATE, and issue a cause of death certificate later if the cause of death is uncertain. IT IS IMPORTANT that the decent, civilized procedure is adopted so that the next of kin can get on with their lives, if someone dies, and not have to suffer doubly due to PROCEDURAL issues of State, that may take a long period of time that has NOT relevance to the needs at hand as illustrated in the particular cases used as examples in the link above.

If the rules change, there is a likelihood that the Toxicology reports may take even longer as there will be no one chasing them up, and if there is a murder enquiry, even the murderer could have died by the time the report is issued. BUT THEN! 

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