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Post-Mortem Rules in India: New Protocol for Post-Mortem Procedure


Post-Mortem Rules in India: Relevance

  • GS 2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Post-Mortem Rules in India: Context

  • Recently, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified new protocol for Post-Mortem or autopsy procedure.


Post-Mortem Rules in India: New Protocol for Post-Mortem Procedure_3.1


Post mortem rules in India: Key points

  • Changes have been made in the post-mortem protocols to allow for the procedure to be conducted after sunset to promote ease of living by reducing burden imposed due to compliance to government processes.
  • 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.
  • In view of the rapid advancement and improvement in technology, especially availability of required lighting and infrastructure required for post-mortem, performing night time post-mortem in hospitals is now feasible.
  • The protocol stipulates that post-mortem for organ donation be taken up on priority and be conducted even after sunset at the hospitals which have the infrastructure for conducting such post-mortem on a regular basis.
  • 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.
  • However, cases under categories such as homicide, suicide, rape, decomposed bodies, suspected foul play should not be subjected for post-mortem during night time unless there is a law-and-order situation.


UN Report on Internal Migration


 Post mortem meaning

  • This Latin phrase literally means ‘after death’. A post mortem examination is a medical examination carried out on the body after death. It is also called an autopsy (which means ‘to see for oneself’).


IBC: GN Bajpai Committee Report


Reasons for post mortem procedure

  • A number of things that may be determined from an autopsy are:
  • Establish decedent’s identity.
  • Establish the cause of death.
  • Determine the mechanism of death.
  • Confirm the manner of death.
  • Confirm medical history.
  • Separate complicating medical factors.
  • Rule out disease or factors harmful to public health.
  • Facilitate adequate photography of wounds, if required.
  • Correlate wounding and object producing the wounds.
  • Determine time interval between wounds received and death.
  • Establish sequence of events.
  • Retrieve an article involved in mode of death, such as a bullet.
  • Obtain and examine trace evidence such as hairs, stains, and seminal fluid.
  • Obtain specimens for toxicology.
  • Establish order of death in situations where more than one family member has been killed.
  • To document all injuries in order to answer any future questions that is unknown at the time of the autopsy.

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