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Plea in SC seeks proper Mortal Remains Management Disposal Protocol

Source: , Posted On:   06 February 2021

Plea in SC seeks proper Mortal Remains Management Disposal Protocol

By Suchitra Kalyan Mohanty
New Delhi [India], February 6 (ANI): After he was unable to perform his mother's last rites due to a hospital's alleged lapse during Covid-19 pandemic, a Delhi resident has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court seeking laying down of guidelines regarding National/State Mortal Remains Management/Disposal Protocol to avoid similar trauma to others.
G Manohar, 39, had to bear the trauma of losing his mother and then his fate had turned into double jeopardy, when he couldn't perform his mother's last rites due to the hospital's alleged lapse during Covid-19 pandemic, forcing his dead mother's last rites to be performed by another man, who also lost his mother.
Manohar told ANI that he was the victim of the "callous action" and "negligence" of the Manipal Hospital, Sector 6, Dwarka, which "without any respect to him and his family, denied a decent burial to his mother, as they allegedly handed over the dead body of her mother in the most undignified manner without any verification, to a total stranger and his family to be cremated by them."
Manohar has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court through his lawyer, Shilpa Liza George seeking proper laying down of a National/State Mortal Remains Management/Disposal Protocol to avoid similar trauma to others.
Manohar stated that his mother (who died of non-Covid causes) and her body was allegedly given to one Puneet Kohli, whose mother died due to Covid and it was sheer due to the mix up of the medical negligence of the hospital, these two dead bodies were allegedly exchanged.
The petitioner, Manohar, lost his mother on September 14, last year, and realised the next day that she has already been bid farewell to by a stranger family, which was difficult for his family, as they continue to deal with the psychological trauma of having lost their loved one.
Manohar said he wanted to highlight the lack of management protocol in the country, as a result of which irreversible harm and agony of this sort was being caused.
In his petition Manohar further requested the Apex Court "to direct the Centre and states to set up a National/State Mortal Remains Management/Disposal Protocol that will be strictly adhered to, so that such trauma and distress can be avoided."
"The notion of respect is so rooted that we even agree to deal gently with the bodies of our enemies," Manohar stated in his petition.
Manohar had to now live with the hard and bizarre truth that his mother's body was mistaken for some other Covid-19 victim and was given away for cremation by someone else denying him the sacred rights of doing the last rites to his mother, the petition stated.
Manohar stated in his petition, a copy of which was exclusively accessed by ANI, that this is due to the absence of a proper Mortal Remains Management Disposal Protocol in the country, because of which such a disastrous and irreversible act has taken place.
The complete lack of a proper system of checks and balances is leading to hospitals taking the excuse of being overburdened with dead bodies, he said, in his petition.
He stated that he is aggrieved by the fact that his mother's body was so carelessly stored without proper labelling or identification, with other highly infected Covid-19 bodies in the mortuary of the respondent hospital.
Then due to a mix-up of bodies, it was handed over to a stranger and his family for cremation, with complete disregard and negligence, as a result of which the petitioner and his family did not get to see or bury the mortal remains of his mother according to their religious rites and rituals, he said.
The Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka, however, told ANI that it has always been at the forefront of patient care and strictly follows all protocols and guidelines for treatment and care.
"Handing over of the deceased is also done as per the laid guidelines. However, the new set of guidelines laid down under Covid 19 pandemic restrict the movement in the mortuary. Covid-19 has also brought in heavy pressure on healthcare workers, systems, and processes," an official from the hospital said.
The act done is irreversible and there is no closure for the petitioner and his family as they not only lost their mother but also lost the right to bury her, Manohar said.
"To make matters worse, the hospital has not shown any remorse for its act, knowing full well that such indignity in death was afforded to petitioner's mother due to the negligent actions of the hospital and due to the lack of a proper Mortal Remains Storage and Management Protocol in Delhi," Manohar said. (ANI)

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