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The Management Of Unclaimed Bodies

Introduction    

Unidentified bodies (‘Unknown’ bodies) received from within the hospital or ‘brought in dead’ by the police from outside the hospital will be registered into the Buku Daftar Kematian.

If the body is not claimed after three days upon arrival in the mortuary, it will be classified as an unclaimed body.

The proper management of unclaimed bodies is important to optimize cost effectiveness and the limited body storage so as to avoid delay in service provision and requires close cooperation with other authorities.

The police will be informed to assist in the identification of the body and to initiate the search for the next-of-kin which includes putting up notices in the major newspapers.

The unclaimed Muslim body   

The body will be kept in the mortuary freezer for at least three (3) days while the next-of-kin is traced.

The unclaimed non-Muslim body        

The body will be kept in the mortuary freezer for at least fourteen (14) days while the next-of-kin is traced.

Release of the unclaimed body           

If the body remains unclaimed after the allocated time has passed, a copy of the Permit Mengubur will be issued and the clearance for performing  the last rites will be obtained from the police or magistrate.

A report on all unclaimed bodies of more than fourteen (14) days will be sent to the Hospital Director.

Donation of unclaimed bodies to universities

Unclaimed bodies that are suitable to be donated  to universities for academic and research purposes must fulfill the following criteria:

  1. Non-Muslim
  2. Not claimed for more than fourteen (14) days from the date of arrival in the mortuary
  3. The deceased during his/her life had never objected to his/her body being used after death for academic or research purposes
  4. The postmortem examination or inquest into death under the Criminal Procedure Act will not be carried out
  5. No next-of-kin has claimed the body from the Department / Unit of Forensic Medicine

The procedure for donation of unclaimed bodies to universities is done according to the Pekeliling Ketua Pengarah Kesihatan Bil. 5/2008 Garis Panduan Penyerahan Mayat Yang Tidak Dituntut Di Hospital Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia Kepada Fakulti Perubatan Universiti Tempatan Bagi Maksud Pendidikan Atau Penyelidikan Perubatan.

The disposal of a body

If the body is found to be unsuitable to be donated to a university, it will be disposed as per the following:

  1. For Muslim bodies, the body along with the Permit Mengubur will be handed to the Jabatan Agama Islam for burial.
  2. For non-Muslim bodies,  the body will be handed along with the Permit Mengubur  to the respective religious bodies to perform the last rites.

Reference  

Pekeliling Ketua Pengarah Kesihatan Bil. 5/2008 Garis Panduan Penyerahan Mayat Yang Tidak Dituntut Di Hospital Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia Kepada Fakulti Perubatan Universiti Tempatan Bagi Maksud Pendidikan Atau Penyelidikan Perubatan
MOH/P/PAK/164.08 (GU)

Last Reviewed : 21 April 2014
Writer : Salina bt. Hisham