What happens when someone dies at home?
If someone dies at home at the end of a long illness who has been under the care of a doctor and/or a palliative care team the family would let the doctor or care team know their loved one had died at home so the death could be verified and to prepare the documentation required – a Medical Cause of Death Certificate.
If someone dies unexpectedly at home you need to call emergency services – the police and ambulance. They could have died in the sleep, had a heart attack, an aneurysm – they may just not wake up. The first responders will check to see if there is a pulse. An ambulance might be called and they might pronounce that the person has passed away.
It could be that the step you take would be to call the family doctor and ask whether they would write and sign a Medical Cause of Death Certificate. If the person hasn’t regularly been seeing a doctor, your local GP or family doctor may not be prepared to sign the certificate stating the cause of death. This will mean your loved one will have to make a trip into the coroner and start a process to assess what might have caused that person to pass away. The coronial process can take between five and seven days which means there will be a delay in the process as you cannot have a funeral until your loved one has been released from the Coroner’s.
We have just one life…
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Just One Life… doing and designing dying and death differently and with dignity and distinction.
For more information on doing dying and death differently or to start thinking about how to handle a death of a loved one before you are overtaken by grief, organise a conversation with Jacqui today.
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Jacqui Chaplin is a Lifetime & End-of-Life Commemoration Specialist (a funeral celebrant among other things) based in Melbourne, Australia. She loves capturing stories about the nature of life and being human, as well as, celebrating and commemorating well lived lives and lives that have ended. Jacqui has a passion for bringing the conversations that many of us find difficult to think about, let alone speak about, out in the open so we can see how our stories, values and beliefs influence our attitudes.
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