India: Post-Mortem Now Allowed To Be Conducted Past Sunset

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The Union Health Ministry in a commitment to promote ease of living by reducing the burden imposed due to compliance to government processes has allowed post-mortem procedures to be conducted after sunset across India by following proper protocols with effect from Monday. 

“Apart from friends and relatives of the deceased, this new procedure also promotes organ donation and transplant as organs can be harvested in the stipulated time window after the procedure,” the ministry said in a statement

India’s Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in a tweet in Hindi said, “An end to the system put in place by the British! A post-mortem can be conducted round-the-clock. In furtherance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of good governance, the health ministry has decided that post-mortem can be conducted even after sunset in hospitals which have the facility to carry out the procedure at night.”

The representations were examined by a technical committee in the Directorate General of Health Services, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

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

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

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, it also noted.

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

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