Stricter SOPs in body donations in West Bengal now

The process of body donations in state- government run medical colleges & hospitals will get tougher as the state health department has decided to introduce stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) on this count.

The decision has been taken to avoid post-donation complexities that have arisen in several medical colleges and hospitals in the recent past. A senior official of the state health department said that some proposals in the change of SOPs related to body donation in this regard have been taken at a meeting on this count recently.

The first change in the SOP will be that no state- run medical college & hospital will accept a body of anyone donated through a third party or a voluntary organisation.

“The spouse, kin or any close relative or blood relation will have to be present while the body has to be handed over to the anatomy department of the medical college and hospital authorities along with the death certificate and prior pledge declaration documents of the person whose body is being donated. Copies of any government provided photo-identity card, like Aadhar card or EPIC card or passport of both the deceased person and the person signing the handover document will also have to be submitted to the hospital authorities where the body is donated,” a state health department official said.

The second change in the SOP, as proposed, will be in the timing of handover of bodies to the medical college & hospital authorities, where the timing for the same will be curtailed by 12 hours.

“Right now, the handover is allowed for 24 hours a day. But under the changed standard operating procedure, the timing of handover of body will be restricted for 12 hours from 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

“If anyone comes with a body beyond that scheduled period, for that night the body will be preserved at the hospital mortuary for that night and the handover process will be completed next day within the scheduled period,” the state health department official said.

In addition, in certain cases if the anatomy department of medical college & hospital concerned suspect any foul play related to the body donated can demand a no-objection certificate from the police in addition to the normal death certificates and pledge declaration documents.

Under no circumstances, the state health department official said, the anatomy department will accept any body on which a post- mortem or autopsy has been conducted.

20221126-235002

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