Govt notifies new protocol for post-mortem procedure

It was ascertained that some institutes are already performing night-time post-mortems.

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Last Updated on November 17, 2021 by The Health Master

In response to the multiple references that have been received by the Union Health Ministry from various sources and in line with the government’s commitment to promote ease of living by reducing the burden imposed due to compliance with government processes, changes have been made in the post-mortem protocols to allow for the procedure to be conducted after sunset.

Apart from friends and relatives of the deceased, this new procedure also promotes organ donation and transplantation as organs can be harvested in the stipulated time window after the procedure.

These aforementioned representations to the Ministry in this regard were examined by a technical committee in the Directorate General of Health Services, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

It was ascertained that some institutes are already performing night-time post-mortems.

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In view of the rapid advancement and improvement in technology, especially availability of required lighting and infrastructure required for post-mortem, performing night time post-mortem in hospitals is now feasible.

The protocol stipulates that post-mortem for organ donation be taken up on priority and be conducted even after sunset at the hospitals which have the infrastructure for conducting such post-mortem on a regular basis.

The fitness and adequacy of infrastructure etc., shall be assessed by the hospital-in-charge to ensure that there is no dilution of evidentiary value.

It is also to be ensured by the facility that video recording of post-mortem shall be done for all post-mortem conducted in the night, to rule out any suspicion and preserved for future reference for Legal purposes.

However, cases under categories such as homicide, suicide, rape, decomposed bodies, suspected foul play should not be subjected for post-mortem during night time unless there is a law and order situation.

All concerned ministries / departments as well as all state governments and union territories, have been notified of the change in protocol.

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