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[The text below is a re-posting, with the author's permission, of material that appeared on the FCA discussion email list on 6 January 2009] [The issue is the process by which bodies are released to funeral directors or to families by hospitals (or other institutions where a death has occurred)]
Here's something I wish I had the time to pursue right now, but maybe it will catch the fancy of someone on this listserv....
Over the holidays, my husband and I had a large family gathering in my home that included the head of internal medicine for Walter Reed Army Medical Center (husband to a first cousin of mine). I got to talking to him about FCA and home funerals, and I brought up my concern that the hospitals in our area do not have protocols established for releasing bodies to family members who want to serve as their own funeral directors. He was sympathetic and had a GREAT idea -- find someone who knows someone at the Joint Commission -- www.jointcommission.org/ -- which does accreditation for hospitals and other medical facilities and get the Joint Commission to write a sample hospital protocol on this subject. He said, "Position it as a human rights issue, if you can, and you'll get more support." Then, as we funeral consumer advocates work with our local hospitals, we can point them to the Joint Commission's sample protocol, which he said is the most credible source for hospital protocols.
Anybody know anybody? Anybody want to take on a great assignment?
FCA of the Piedmont (North Carolina)
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