Want to say thank you to the Ladies at the Putney Library for including me in their Death Matters program. I was happy to answer questions and I hope I got to answer all of them. The weather stunk and we still had a sizable crowd. I was surprised to hear the amount of questions that were centered around unattended deaths at home.
Most of the conversation was about the timeline that starts after the death. If someone dies at home and is not being actively seen by a doctor, or the person is not under Hospice care, the first phone call is always to the police. Once the police arrive, everything becomes a potential crime scene. Regardless of age, most of these deaths will have to be reviewed by a medical examiner.
Some question were raised about who could move the body to and from the Medical Examiners office in Burlington. If the deceased has died at home and is going to the Medical Examiners office someone representing a funeral home is going to do the transport . The funeral home is working for the state at that point. They are not working with or for the family. This has to do with a chain of evidence if there was foul play. Once the medical examiner has reviewed the body, a death certificate is signed and the body is released to the family. The family dose not have to use the funeral home that picked up the body originally.
As far as timing, all of this, including autopsy, happens in about 48 hours or less.
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