Identifying the Deceased in South Africa
February 17, 2017
When you have to identify the body of someone you use to love, it can be quite traumatic. Although when they portray the process to identify a body on television. It is a lot different than what will happen in real life. This is why the public has an incorrect view of how the process actually will work. This scenario they depict in movies is all myth, and the process is more humane and sensitive in real life when identifying the deceased.
A few notes about the process – Identifying the deceased
When you have to identify a body, they will present you with a couple of photographs. Even before this process starts the morgues attend will prepare you beforehand for what you will see. Also, the difference in movies and real life is that all the corpses are camera ready. While in real life, a broken jaw can make identifying a corpse a lot harder. This is why they use photos in real life. Another myth about Hollywood morgues. Morgue attendants will never accept a bribe by anyone. Yes, that will include those eager policemen or an anxious family member for a quick preview of the body.
What will happen after the identification – Identifying the deceased
When they successfully identify the body, the authorities will almost always be certain that this is the body of the actual person. They, therefore, prepare the relative beforehand, so that there is not shock or drama as you see on TV. At this stage, it is more formality to be completely certain that this is the correct person.
When they are busy with the process, that the individual must identify the body. They handle it with the utmost of respect and sensitivity. There are crisis counsellors, medical examiners and morgue attendants to assist with all aspects of the identification. There is no one pushing you to carry out the task as quickly as possible as in the movies. Grief counsellors are available to assist family members who may not be able to cope with the effects of the body identification process.
All photographs used for identification purposes are tasteful. They will not show unnecessary details for the person that has to identify the body. That is, the face will be shown or birthmarks but no gruesome images of bad injuries as is sometimes shown in the movies. Bodies of the deceased are treated with the utmost dignity at morgues as are the feelings and emotions of those identifying the bodies.
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All info was correct at time of publishing