The set of bureaucratic and logistical events that follow the death of a person can be grouped into two different categories, depending on where and how the death occurred. We will analyze the situation in the case of a natural death in a private home and in the case of a violent or unclear death at the crime scene.
Death at Home:
When the death of a loved one or a relative occurs in a private home and the death is expected, as in the case of a terminally ill or a very old and sick person, the first thing to do is to call the family doctor and the funeral home of trust. In the event that death is not expected, such as in the case of a cardiac arrest or a household accident, it is necessary to call 911 who will send paramedics with an ambulance to try to resuscitate the person. The family doctor or ER physician is responsible for establishing that death has occurred, the cause of death, and issuing the death certificate, which is required for the legal registration of the subject's death.
If the death is not expected, sudden, for violent causes or due to a serious accident or suicide, the police are alerted and the coroner is also called, who will make the investigation and if necessary will take the body to the morgue in the hospital and proceed to autopsy to ascertain the cause of death. If the intervention of the coroner is not necessary, the body is taken over by the funeral director and transported to the funeral home, where it is transported to the embalming room and prepared for the wake and the funeral, which is arranged by the funeral home. It is then transported to the church for the funeral and then to the cemetery where it will be buried or to the crematorium if it is to be cremated.
Death at the Crime Scene:
If the death occurs by a violent death, by sudden death in the street or public places, or if it occurs due to uncertain causes, it is necessary to immediately notify 911, which will send the paramedics, the scientific police, and the coroner to carry out the necessary investigations. After the isolation and the description of the scene of the crime by the investigators, the coroner has the task to make an approximate evaluation of the causes of the death, the modalities, and the time of the same one, as well as to the formulation of hypothesis about the dynamics of the event. The first activity of the clinician is the ascertainment of the death of the victim, followed by a preliminary external examination to establish whether it is a suicide, a homicide, or an accidental death.
Subsequently, the body is transported by van to the hospital morgue and toxicological or genetic investigations are performed, but above all the autopsy in the septic room to answer the questions posed by the judicial authorities regarding the time of death, its causes, and the means of injury operated. Following the ascertainment of the causes of death, the body is entrusted to the funeral home that will act with the same procedure as in the case of death at home.