Stop inhuman activities at CMC morgue immediately
It is very unfortunate that family members of the deceased have to pay money for performing autopsy at Chittagong Medical College (CMC) morgue. This adds to the emotional trauma suffered by families who have just lost a loved one. It’s a double blow for the family members who already face shock of sudden demise of one of their family members.
According to the guiding main spirit of the principles of medical profession, patients should never be treated as a means to achieving personal gains. But the act of extorting money illegally from the relatives of the deceased in the name of “autopsy fee” violates this maxim of medical ethics. It is not only illegal and unethical but also inhuman.
This information came to light after a report was published in The Daily Star on April 18. It revealed how the middlemen were realising money from the relatives of the deceased to perform autopsy at CMC Morgue. They realised money in the name of “autopsy fee” although they did not provide any money receipt for this service.
The college authorities said there was no provision for an of “autopsy fee” but still the middlemen and morgue staff through mutual connivance were charging money from Tk 5,000 to Tk 15,000 for performing an autopsy for years.
As most of the people who come with bodies do not have clear idea about this, they pay money as per the demand of the middlemen. The Daily Star report revealed that some people who work in the CMC are not staff members of the morgue and they perform duty there through connivance of the morgue staff. Even the middlemen have the key of the rooms of morgue.
It is alarming that the outsiders perform duty in a government medical college morgue. It is not only risky but also a sign of sheer irresponsibility of the authorities.
We saw the authorities tried to avoid the allegation by saying that they “were not aware” of this. The college authorities have tried to put all the blame on the police, saying that police should arrest the middlemen while police said if the authorities “identified” the middlemen, they would arrest them.
It’s a lame excuse from the authorities as they pretended to know nothing. Can’t they understand what an inhuman task it is to realise thousands of money from the family members who suddenly have lost their beloved one? An autopsy is usually performed when the cause of death is of a criminal act or there is some doubt about the cause of death, such as a road accident, murder etc. usually in the cases of road accident, murder and any sort of sudden unusual death.
The outsiders who are not staff of the morgue have no responsibility for the safeguard of the bodies and morgue. It is obvious they are conmen only there to prey upon the families of the dead. Their only income source is realising money illegally from the relatives of the deceased. And Iit is clear that the morgue staff who “appointed” them outsiders there get a the share of this illegal income.
The authorities have proved themselves to be dangerously by being so callous with human suffering just to make some petty cash. not taking proper measure to stop the illegal and inhuman activities. What would be the answer of the authority of these questions--how the outsiders get key of the morgue rooms? Is it safe if outsiders work in the morgue? Why have not the authorities paste sticker in front of the morgue that would read, “No fee is required for autopsy” or “Autopsy is performed free of cost”? Why have not the authorities “identified” the middlemen? Why have not they initiated to probe into the matter?
We want an end of this inhuman activity. It is the duty of the CMC authorities to stop it immediately. We demand the authorities to paste notice in the morgue to aware people. We demand them to identify the middlemen and to probe into the matter as to who have “appointed” the outsiders in the morgue. We demand punishment of the liable staff.