Odisha govt issues new guideline for transportation of dead

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 5:

After receiving worldwide condemnation over the sordid story of Dana Majhi, who was forced to carry the body of his dead wife on his shoulders for about 11 kms since he didn’t have money to hire a hearse, the Odisha government today announced new guideline for transportation of bodies of the dead.

Dana Majhi carrying his wife's body on shoulders
Dana Majhi carrying his wife’s body on shoulders

The guideline of the Health and Family Welfare department of the state government states that under no circumstances bodies will be allowed to be carried on shoulders.

Further, any kind of transportation that would cause disrespect to the dead will not be allowed.

Besides, bodies will be only allowed to be carried on stretchers or cots.

Moreover, the guideline prescribes for the preservation of bodies with proper dignity/respect to the dead.

Bodies won’t be allowed to be taken away from hospitals without ‘death slip’. ‘Death slips’ declaring the person concerned to be dead will have to be filled up by a medical officer of the concerned hospital, the new guideline states.

The guideline further states that in a non-medico legal case or natural death, the medical officer will hand over the death slip to the family members of the dead. And in a medico-legal case or unnatural death case, hospital authorities will immediately inform the local police.

Often dead are brought to hospitals by their family members. In that case casualty medical officer on duty after duly examining the dead person as per rules will declare him/her dead and immediately inform the local police station.

On several occasions, unidentified persons die in the hospital. Again, on several occasions, unidentified bodies are brought to hospitals. In such cases, the medical officer on duty shall immediately inform the local police station.

The new guideline says on hospital employees or security personnel finding people with a body in suspicious circumstances within the hospital premises, the employees/ security personnel are immediately required to ask for the ‘death slip. As a result of which illegal taking away of bodies from hospitals can be prevented.

Similarly, funds will be provided to all police stations for carrying bodies in case of unnatural deaths.  While rural police stations will be provided with Rs 1,500, police stations in towns will be given Rs 1,000 and in special cases Rs 2,000 will be provisioned for carrying the dead.


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