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Tuesday, 25 April 2017 27 Rajab 1438

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Tuesday 25 April 2017
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In case of a Death

General
When death occurs in a family, the Jamaat through its Mayyat Committee takes the responsibility of organising the funeral. This includes transporting the Mayyat to Hujjat Imambara-Stanmore, Ghusal, Kafan, Dafan and Siyaka Majlis/Nyaz. The only task left to the family is to take care of expenses, if any, on obtaining the death and burial certificates and meeting the expenses.

Point of contact
As soon as a death has occurred, please inform the Jamaat Office on 020 8954 6247 during office hours or on 020 8385 7817 when the Jamaat Office is closed. Alternatively contact Anwarbhai Jagani on 07798 867786.

Information required when phoning the Jamaat Office
1.    Name of the deceased, with correct spelling (as registered at the hospital)
2.    Age, Residential address and Telephone Number
3.    Name, Address and Telephone Number of Next of Kin
4.    Cause and place of death
5.    Contact telephone number of the member of family coordinating the funeral arrangements
6.    Your choice of Cemetery (Brookwood, Carpenders Park, North Watford, or Northwood)

Death certificate
You are required to obtain two certificates (Death Certificate and Burial Certificate) without which no burial can take place.

The cause of death by law is needed on the death certificate.

If death takes place at home, then phone the deceased’s registered GP, who in turn will either issue a Death Certificate or may refer the case to a Coroner if the cause of death is not clear.

If the death takes place in hospital, then the Resident Doctor will issue a Death Certificate or may refer to a Coroner if the cause of death is not clear.

If the case is referred to a Coroner, he/she will carry out all the necessary investigations and will then issue a Death Certificate or will request to carry out a post mortem/autopsy and will then issue a Death Certificate.

Please note, that if he/she decides to do a post mortem, then you have no chance of dissuading them. It is better if you request them to carry this out as soon as possible.

The traditional or “invasive” autopsy involves the body cavities being opened to enable the removal and careful examination of the major organs. In a full autopsy, the chest, abdomen and head are opened. The organs are subsequently returned to the body.

If you do have an objection to traditional autopsy, it is possible to request a less-invasive post mortem examination. A “minimally invasive autopsy” (MIA) service is now offered in Oxford and The Whittington (London). Instead of the body being opened up, a CT scan is performed. In some cases, a procedure known as angiography is also necessary. This is the injection of a type of fluid detected by x-rays that enables the demonstration of arterial disease causing a heart attack.

Authorisation is needed from the coroner handling the case to take the body away for non-invasive (CT Scan which is faster, cheaper and has above a better strike rate than an MRI machine).  It is at this point that either your local GP who has the patient's history speaks to the coroner in a language that will acceptable.  Alternatively if the GP is unable to, then contact Anwerbhai Jagani who will then liaise with the coroner.  Our District coroner, Andrew Walker has approved both Oxford and the Whittington Hospitals.  Please, please do not speak to the corners directly.

Both Oxford and the Whittington (London) offer the full alternative service - charges start from £450 up to £900.

There are some cases where are non-invasive/minimal invasive autopsy will not confirm the cause of death.  At this point a conventional autopsy (invasive) will have to be carried out.

Can all autopsies be replaced by MIA?  MIA is not always appropriate as some conditions cannot be detected by a scan. However, most cases of sudden unexpected deaths in adults can be investigated in this way. If you request a MIA, the Coroner’s office will contact the pathologist in Oxford or the Whittington who will review the clinical history and decide whether or not MIA is appropriate.

Does MIA always identify the cause of death?  MIA will identify a definite cause in approximately three-quarters of sudden adult deaths. In the other one quarter of cases, some form of invasive procedure will be required, although this is usually limited according to the imaging findings. It is very unusual for a full invasive autopsy to be required following MIA.

Will MIA delay the funeral? No. MIA takes place at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, on the same day as invasive autopsy would normally be performed (either the same day or next day following instruction from the Coroner). If an invasive examination is required this will be performed immediately following MIA, in the mortuary at the John Radcliffe Hospital (a separate hospital one mile from the Churchill Hospital).

Is there a cost associated with MIA? Yes, the cost of the scanning procedure is between £450-£900. This will normally be paid by the family through the funeral director. The funeral director may also issue a fee for transferring the deceased for MIA in Oxford. Please note: costs for these procedures are NOT covered by the Burial Fund scheme.

Notes on jurisprudence
It is Haraam to cut open the body unless the law of the land requires you to do so. Therefore if there is even a small a chance that a non-invasive/minimal invasive autopsy can determine the cause of death, then that option should be taken even if it means there is a further delay in receiving the body.  

We are also receiving many bodies from the Hospitals that are returned without receiving the appropriate suturing.  We need to make polite requests to the corners and the mortuary department to help facilitate. This may mean a small cost to the family but it is very worth it.

Burial certificate
On obtaining the Death certificate, take it to the Registrar nearest to the Hospital (check with the Hospital) and Register the death. The Registrar will then issue a green coloured Burial Certificate (burial can only take place after you have obtained the Burial Certificate).

If death has taken place in a hospital, sometimes a Registrar in the hospital issues a white coloured Burial Certificate. Alternatively you may have to register with the borough where the hospital is situated.

It is essential that you bring both the Death Certificate and the Burial Certificate to the Jamaat Office before the burial can take place.

Burial Time
The Jamaat will arrange to collect the Mayyat and bring it to the Imambara on the morning of the Burial. Namaaz-e-Mayyat is normally prayed after Namaaz-e-Asr, but this can vary if the time of burial is early or late. Gents then accompany the Janaza to the Cemetery while the Ladies stay behind in the Imambara, where Qur’an is recited followed by a majlis for the deceased. When the gents return to the Imambara, (between 1½ - 3hrs depending on location of cemetery), the Ziyarat majlis takes place at the centre.