Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Police revise procedure for some sudden death cases

Published:Monday | June 27, 2016 | 6:28 AM
Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams.

Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams, has announced changes to the controversial procedures surrounding the treatment of some sudden death cases.

Funeral directors and relatives of deceased people have been expressing concern, some threatening lawsuits over the old system introduced in February.

However, in the latest Police Force Orders released last Friday, the Commissioner relaxed the rules for cases where the deceased had a known medical condition.

Under the new system, the police will be able to release bodies to relatives once they have ascertained that there is a doctor willing to sign the medical certificate.

The police must make a note of the doctor's name in the station diary and the death register.

Previously, where a person with a known medical condition died suddenly, the police had to call the Government-contracted funeral home to collect the body until a post-mortem is conducted.

The president of the Funeral Directors' Association of Jamaica, Melvin Honeyghan, had argued that the Force Orders breached civil and human rights.

However, the Ministry of National Security responded saying it was deemed necessary to refer all cases of sudden death to a government-contracted funeral home as it was best to initially assume that foul play could have been involved.