December 15, 2015
There has always been a problem of unclaimed bodies at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) morgue. Some NGOs have been helping in giving these a dignified burial. Now the Directorate of Medical Education (DME), Health and Family Welfare Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu, has come up with another solution. It has introduced a new system to utilize the unclaimed corpses (non-medico legal) from the CMCH for education purposes here.
According to a higher official from CMCH, the system has been implemented by the DME in all the government medical colleges in the state since July 2015.
The official further added that as many as 24 bodies have been sent so far from the CMCH morgue to be utilized by the Department of Anatomy of the college for practical classes.
“The DME has directed the hospitals to preserve the bodies for six months after embalming and preservation by the Department of Anatomy of the respective district colleges. If the family members come to claim the body within a period of six months, we would charge them around Rs. 1,000 for embalming and then hand over the bodies to them,” he said.
However, the official added that if nobody claimed the body after six months, they would be sent for education purposes to the department of Anatomy at the college.
The Resident Medical Officers of all the colleges have been asked to keep a register of all the number of unclaimed corpses and report to the DME on daily basis.
While the medico legal corpses have been handed over to the police, the non-medico legal corpses have voluntarily largely been taken by NGOs to be cremated or buried. However, the implementation of the scheme is supposed to be useful to anatomical education and also help the unclaimed corpses serve a purpose.