Expected Home Deaths
With the cooperation and assistance of the area's home nursing care agencies,
funeral homes, and hospices, we maintain an "Expected Death" list which allows
for death notification and body removal in a way that is least disruptive and
upsetting to families.
This procedure satisfies our policy of being notified of all home deaths
without unduly upsetting the family or having to call the attending physician in
the middle of the night. Simply stated, the procedure is:
- With the consent of the family, the Medical Examiner's Office is notified
by the funeral director, doctor's office or home nursing care agency of a
terminally ill patient who is expected to die a natural death at home.
- The attending physician is contacted by the home care agency or funeral
director to 1) confirm the medical history and 2) receive assurance that the
physician will sign the death certificate.
- When the patient dies, the nurse or family contacts the funeral home for
removal. The agency or the funeral director who placed the patient on the
expected death list is responsible for notifying the Medical Examiner's
Office of the patient's death the next working day.
This policy in no way obviates acceptance of jurisdiction of any case failing
under Statute 406. Any suspicion of violent death in a terminally ill patient
negates this procedure.