What to Do If Someone Dies Naturally

March 16, 2016

When someone dies naturally no one can make up for unsaid words but we do everything possible by learning on what actions to take when we are bereaved. What can one do in case of a natural death? There are two most significant things that one should do in a case when someone dies naturally anywhere – not just at home.

When Someone dies naturally it’s Important to Stay Calm

Make sure the body is not moved until a professional has certified the death, and in case one becomes suspicious of the cause of death then one should alert the SAPS to collect the body in order for them to carry out the required investigations and examinations. There are two possible locations that are assumed to be where people die naturally; this could be at home or a nursing institution / hospital.

There are a number of steps that one should go through

  • When someone dies naturallyIf a person dies at home the person who finds him or her should call the family doctor who will then proceed to sign the ’cause of death’ certificate referred to as B1-1663.
  • If one does not have a personal doctor then it is important that you call emergency services. The paramedic in attendance should not sign the death certificate after confirming the death but should arrange for a doctor to sign the certificate.
  • If an individual’s death has been confirmed and the family has the financial capabilities to proceed with preservation of the body, the next step should be to notify the undertaker.

In instances whereby the paramedic cannot be able to access a doctor to sign the cause of death certificate, then the undertaker should take the body and arrange for the certificate within 24 hours.

The Calm after the Storm

Take a deep breath…. afterwards, one should go ahead and contact family members and religious leaders if one wishes. It is also important for the family of the deceased to report the death to the Ministry of Home Affairs within three working days. This is mostly done with the undertaker. If you do not live in the rural areas, the death should be reported to the Ministry of Home Affairs office in the nearest town.

If you live in a tribal authority, one should notify the Nkosi .The tribal leader will then sign a declaration to show he or she knew the deceased and therefore the person should present the affidavit and the identification card of the deceased to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

If the Death is in a hospital or nursing home

If one dies in the hospital or a nursing home, the presiding doctor should then sign the B1-663 certificate to confirm the deaths and contact the family if the deceased had any. Secondly, a step further to notify the Ministry of Home Affairs within three working days should be taken.

In many cases, there are usually lingering doubts that the deceased may not have died through natural causes and therefore an autopsy is usually conducted in order to ascertain the real cause of death and answer to those reservations.

If the deceased died within the medical facility the family can request the medical facility to carry out an autopsy in a bid to confirm the cause of death. It is vital to note that this comes at a cost since private autopsy is usually very expensive and therefore one is advised to consider it only when there is legitimate concern over the death.

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All info was correct at time of publishing