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Releasing the body to spouse

Lukka'sma
July 9th, 2007, 07:50 PM
At work we have a husband of a patient that has refused to pay the high price of a funeral for his dying wife. His wife is palliative and he has made arrangements with our Director of Care to have the body released to him rather than the funeral home. He will then transport the body himself to the crematorium. A service will be held at his church at a very low cost to him. No casket but from what he has explained a box of sorts.
I just can't picture this fellow in his 80's loading his wife into his van at the side door and heading off to take care of business. If nothing else I would have thought that there would be some health regulations that say we cannot drive around town with a corpse in the back of our cars. And I am by no means trying to make light of this, I just think it seems so strange on many levels. But who knows, maybe more and more people will get tired of paying thousands to these funeral homes and start doing this too.
This request is a new one for me, and I have said goodbye to countless patients over the years but have never had the family take the body and dispose of it before:confused:

Frenchy
July 9th, 2007, 07:58 PM
I don't think this is legal in Quebec....He should at least go with the natural buriing, a company offers it now and it's like 1/3 of the usual price. I saw something about this somewhere on the web...

mummummum
July 9th, 2007, 08:07 PM
It's illegal for a private citizen to transport a dead body in these cirucumstances in Ontario. What's more, the body has to be transported in an approved carrier bag and must be cremated in an approved container. The coroner must approve the cremation in advance.

I have had very good dealings with a company called The Simple Alternative. They are very low cost. I know they operate in Toronto ~ not sure about London. I recomment them highly but suggest you caution your Director Care against releasing the body to this fellow unless he is in funeral services himself as your Director can be charged with causing an indignity to a human body.

The poor wife, I wonder how she feels about his exceptional ... "frugality" as she lies on her death bed.

Frenchy
July 9th, 2007, 08:08 PM
The poor wife, I wonder how she feels about his exceptional ... "frugality" as she lies on her death bed.

I know :sad:

LavenderRott
July 9th, 2007, 10:22 PM
So - is he just going to prop her up in the passenger seat and use the carpool lane!?! :eek: :eek: :eek:

Lukka'sma
July 9th, 2007, 10:34 PM
So - is he just going to prop her up in the passenger seat and use the carpool lane!?! :eek: :eek: :eek:

Nothing would surprise me at this point. I stopped asking questions last evening and just kept thinking this is so messed up!!!!

LavenderRott
July 9th, 2007, 10:39 PM
Nothing would surprise me at this point. I stopped asking questions last evening and just kept thinking this is so messed up!!!!

My husband has assured me that he would do the same and deposit my body in the lake where we go to see fireworks for the 4th of July!! :eek: :eek:

anayah
July 9th, 2007, 10:40 PM
:crazy: ....But funny !

Lukka'sma
July 9th, 2007, 10:51 PM
My husband has assured me that he would do the same and deposit my body in the lake where we go to see fireworks for the 4th of July!! :eek: :eek:

I'll place a plaque in Hart Plaza to celebrate your life:laughing:

Lukka'sma
July 9th, 2007, 10:54 PM
My husband has assured me that he would do the same and deposit my body in the lake where we go to see fireworks for the 4th of July!! :eek: :eek:

If your husband ever uses the words shoes and concrete in the same sentence I would get the hell out of there

Crestedcrazy
July 9th, 2007, 11:38 PM
:sad: how terribly sad that is!

canadoattitude
July 10th, 2007, 11:22 AM
bizarre! indeed

wdawson
July 10th, 2007, 05:06 PM
it is against the law to transport a body.......i worked at a crematorium here in hamilton.......i used to pick up the deceased at funeral homes and morgues..we where all registered with the ministry of consumer affairs.

CyberKitten
July 10th, 2007, 05:27 PM
It IS illegal for him to be doing that - almost anywhere in Canada. I say that in the event there is some law somewhere that permits but I know of none!! I have the unfortunate task of often pronouncing poeople deceased and we always wait for whatever funeral home the family has. We'd never release it to the family - it is just not allowed! (Why do I want to say 'It is simply not done!"

I also had a neighbour who was a funeral director and they often went to pick up bodies hither and yon. (He once was very unhappy with his son who with my brother - they are the same age - went to pick up a body and they decided on the way back - with the body in the back of the hearse which he was driving - to go through the drive through at McDonald's!! )

Recently, when I was giving a seminar on hematology issues (dealing with blood, poisonous substances ,etc) to some embalmers - one who is fellow I went to school with told me he has a body at his workplace, a death by suicide (fellow jumped in front of a train!) - that the family, who has few resources, is refusing to pick up and he does not know what to do. I suggested Social Services but they usually get involved when a family cannot pay but it seems this family wants nothing to do with a funeral. So, then it becomes the property of the County Coroner. But it still seems sooo sad!!!!

Shaykeija
July 10th, 2007, 07:53 PM
I also had a neighbour who was a funeral director and they often went to pick up bodies hither and yon. (He once was very unhappy with his son who with my brother - they are the same age - went to pick up a body and they decided on the way back - with the body in the back of the hearse which he was driving - to go through the drive through at McDonald's!! )

!!

Good god I just had to use an inhaler on that one lol ....

kiara
July 10th, 2007, 08:04 PM
Just as I thought I heard it all? This guy sounds like a real nut! I think that his request is illegal??? I guess he will be burying her in his back yard too, to save a buck??? There is apparently a real danger in dead bodies and they have some kind of decomposing bacteria on them. He could be risking his own health!!!

CyberKitten
July 10th, 2007, 09:24 PM
That is part of it Kiera. Most people do not have infectious diseases to spread when they die but the problem is some do - and we have learned so much more since say, the Middle ages. (not sure why I went back that far but anyway - it is one of those days!). Think of people with people with chemicals in their bodies or who died of infectious diseases - like CJD (illnesses caused by prions) and that kind of thing. It is actually more of a risk for the people who work at funeral homes than anyone else - I mean the likelihood of someone contracting an illness from a deceased relative is so infinitesimal but really, it has more to do with respect for life! Even in death, people must be respected and not merely buried in the back yard. Unless he gets a perit and starts his own cemetery but that's most unusual! People did do that in the 1800's - but usually, they had to still have permission even then!

Maya
July 10th, 2007, 09:42 PM
I have no assets, no family, i'm curious what will happen to me when I die. There is isn't anyone to pay for a funeral of any sort. Is it illegal to be poor?

Lukka'sma
July 10th, 2007, 10:35 PM
She passed away around 2:30am on Monday and the coroner released her body to the husband at 11am. Husband took the wife on a stretcher and loaded her from our side door into his make-shift box in his van!!!! Unbelievable

Maya
July 10th, 2007, 11:08 PM
I guess thats what happens when you don't have money for a proper funeral. :shrug: Sad isn't it?

glitterless
July 11th, 2007, 01:46 AM
Oh, Maya...I wonder if there is help out there so that you could have those arrangements made prior to your death? I know that my grandparents all had their funeral arrangements made decades in advance, but it was still up to us to tell the hospital which funeral home that they were dealing with and such.

I cannot believe that the wife's body was released just like that. Although, I don't think that it should be a crime for us to want to take care of our loved ones ourselves, as long as everything is done legally and safely. I wonder if this woman will make it to the crematorium or if hubby will dispose of her some other way?

I suppose we shouldn't joke, though. It's sad that this poor man doesn't have the money to take care of things in a different way.

gomez
July 11th, 2007, 06:27 AM
Has anyone seen "Little Miss Sunshine"???

LL1
July 11th, 2007, 06:39 AM
Thats really strange,and hard to believe it is legal.Even ambulances are not allowed to transport "obviously dead" people in some areas,incl Ontario.

chico2
July 11th, 2007, 07:19 AM
To be absolutely honest,I do not want my family to spend $10.000+ for my funeral,it is a big business after all.
Hubby and I will be cremated and my/his ashes will be kept until we are both gone and will be put in the same place.

Ths poor 80yr old man,might be doing this out of love for his wife,who knows?
I am surprised it was legal though,maybe he is a farmer and they have a familyplot on their property,like in the old days:confused:

papillonmama
July 11th, 2007, 07:47 AM
I don't know about the transporting, but I don't disagree with him regarding the frugal burial.

When my grandfather passed a few years ago he was very clear about how he wanted his remains treated, and even though many people fought against his own wishes when he died, his children made sure that his wishes were carried out. His wake was in his home that he had built with his own two hands where he raised his children and where his grandchildren and greatgrandchildren were raised. His body was then cremated and his ashes scattered in the forest where he hunted his entire life. And it was all traditional, no church involvement at all, as were his wishes.

It meant a lot to him. Maybe it means a lot to them too, maybe she didn't want a big funeral. Maybe she didn't want her family to be burdened with it financially. Maybe there are a million reasons why he wants it done this way. Maybe she spoke to him about her funeral, it's so hard to know. Maybe he is being cheap, who knows. I just think that sometimes the reasons go beyond what people will tell, and it's not always the reasons that we think.

chico2
July 11th, 2007, 08:08 AM
I totally agree,you said it better than me though:)
Since I am not a religous person,church is just not an option,scattering my ashes and those of hubby in a favorite place,would be my wish,Mother
Nature would take care of our souls.

Rainy
July 11th, 2007, 08:10 AM
Yup,I am no frills,no pictures(umm ewwwww) No open casket and if I had my way no casket at all.Just me and a match thank you very much.He probably did it out of love and respect for his wife.That is what i'm choosing to believe.

Spirit
July 11th, 2007, 10:29 AM
What was this man planning to do with the body, once he left the hospital? Was there maybe a private burial in his own back yard? Doesn't that sort of thing need to be supervised? Was none of this questioned by the person in charge of releasing the body?

I think we're missing something here...

"Generally, the primary right to custody of a dead body belongs to the surviving spouse.", taken from the book "Long-Term Care and the Law: A Legal Guide for Health Care Professionals" by George D. Pozgar, but don't ask me to explain what that means... copyright I believe was 1992, and I'm unsure of what states/countries this applies to, but it's curious just the same.

Lukka'sma
July 11th, 2007, 11:47 AM
What was this man planning to do with the body, once he left the hospital? Was there maybe a private burial in his own back yard? Doesn't that sort of thing need to be supervised? Was none of this questioned by the person in charge of releasing the body.

After leaving with the body the man said he was going straight to the crematorium. After that I would imagine her ashes were going home with him as this would also eliminate the cost of a plot.
There were three coroners involved with the release and it seemed each one passed the decision on to the other. In the end the body was released though.

Rick C
July 11th, 2007, 12:29 PM
After leaving with the body the man said he was going straight to the crematorium. After that I would imagine her ashes were going home with him as this would also eliminate the cost of a plot.
There were three coroners involved with the release and it seemed each one passed the decision on to the other. In the end the body was released though.

I find it stunning the man was allowed to leave with a body.

Seriously.

He could be planting her in the back 40 right now, without the cost of cremation.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Maya
July 11th, 2007, 01:12 PM
I wonder if there is help out there so that you could have those arrangements made prior to your death?You would think so but I haven't heard of anything. I imagine it would still be out of reach for those that are disabled or don't have family etc..

It is a little gruesome to imagine him transporting the body but as others have mentioned there could be many reasons why he did it that way. I think most people that didn't want to pay for a funeral or didn't have the money probably would have just left her unclaimed.

Lukka'sma
July 11th, 2007, 01:35 PM
I think most people that didn't want to pay for a funeral or didn't have the money probably would have just left her unclaimed.

Hard for him to do since he and his wife lived on the property in the retirement housing until her health required her to come to the long term care part of the building.

Maya
July 11th, 2007, 01:53 PM
Hard for him to do since he and his wife lived on the property in the retirement housing until her health required her to come to the long term care part of the building.It was difficult for him to not claim the body? I'm not sure if I understand what you said here.

Odd the facility didn't step in to help them with arrangements or maybe he refused? I guess we don't know the whole story.

Lukka'sma
July 11th, 2007, 03:16 PM
I meant that he could not very easily have been a silent by-stander after she passed, because the facility knew of his where-abouts and how to contact him. It would have been quite difficult for him not to claim her because of that.
(I think that's what I'm saying):)

Maya
July 11th, 2007, 03:37 PM
Okay I get it now. :) :p

Lukka'sma
July 11th, 2007, 04:02 PM
Okay I get it now. :) :p

Oh good, cause I was starting to wonder just what I was saying myself:laughing:

Maya
July 11th, 2007, 04:24 PM
Ya I was confused but its a good point I think. :) It might have been equally strange to leave her and do nothing.

CyberKitten
July 11th, 2007, 07:36 PM
The do nothing part is what my friend who runs a funeral home is coping with now - the body was delivered to him after this family said this is where they wanted the body released (post an autopsy - and I would NOT have wanted to have been to that autopsy since the man jumped in front of a passenger train!! - and the train was delayed for hours so I would not have wanted to have been a passenger either!). Now they want nothing, no funeral - and he has told them they have to claim the body and pay for something but they refuse and the worst part is he actually knew this person (not well but he is a gregarious sort (my friend that is) and so knew him to say hello,etc. and hates to just hand over the body back to the County to do God knows what with?

It is one of the most bizarre things I have seen in this county - I won't say what I have seen in other countries while working with Drs without Borders.

FlynnMB
July 14th, 2007, 02:57 PM
I have told my Hubby that when I die, stuff me in a black sack & leave me out on a Friday for the bin folk.:)

Maya
July 14th, 2007, 07:24 PM
Ya my friends dad used to tell the kids "just drag me out in a garbage bag and leave me next to the trash cans.":p

I'd rather any money go towards helping the living anyway, not like i'll need it.:rolleyes:

kiara
July 15th, 2007, 03:06 PM
This is my second reply to the same post, since I have read other people's opinions. What this guy is doing sounds strange. But we are judging a total stranger, someone whom we know nothing about. People in general like to judge others. Therefore we are worse than he is.

glitterless
July 16th, 2007, 12:32 AM
I want to retract what I said earlier. I feel bad judging that poor man. I do agree that we should be able to say goodbye to our loved ones privately. Although, I do see the need for regulations regarding burial in built up areas.

I lost both of my paternal grandparents last year and was not impressed with the way the funeral home handled both funerals. I'm 25, hadn't been to a funeral since my maternal grandfather died over 10 years ago and didn't really know what to expect. We were dealing with a funeral home that has buried many family members over the past 50 years. They're well-known and well respected in Toronto.

Anyway.. the first funeral was Granny's last June. We have a big extended family and it was difficult to get time alone with her (body) at the funeral home during the visitations. So after the graveside service ended, I lingered around waiting for everyone to leave me alone. The family did, but 2 guys from the funeral home stood RIGHT beside the casket at the headstone despite the fact that I was standing there, crying, obviously wanting some privacy. I ended up going back to the cemetary on my own afterwards.

Then Grandad passed away in November. We were in the funeral procession, 2 minutes from the cemetary when the hearse and lead car from the funeral home pulled over on the side of the road. I was with my uncle a few vehicles back in the procession and had no idea what was going on. Finally we learned that the wrong grave had been dug! And not just the wrong grave, but the wrong grave in the wrong cemetary!!!!!

So we spent a couple of extra hours in the cold to watch city workers dig the grave. My dad would not leave the cemetary until his father was in the ground in the CORRECT grave, despite the funeral home's urging us to go home. He also asked that we have a few moments alone after the workers finished. It was less than ideal, but we did actually see the entire burial take place, and I did feel a little more at peace after that.

It's the same with my animals. I'm not a very religious person, but I like to bury them myself and see the burial completed. I think it emphasizes the finality of what's happened and helps me move on. Luckily we're on a farm with a lot of acreage and have more than enough room to bury our pets. Our farm is an old homestead, and I'm sure that there are many human graves on the property as well.