Coroner To Investigate Claims Man Was Alive When Taken To Morgue

Funeral director notices discrepancies

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The state coroner will investigate a shocking case at Rockingham General Hospital where a palliative care patient may have been alive when placed into a body bag.

The 55-year-old patient was in a ward at the hospital on September 5 who was near his end of life, when nurses believed he had passed away.

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Business News reported a doctor then was asked to backdate the death date on the man’s death certificate to cover up the matter.

The doctor asked refused to do so.

The man’s death was only confirmed the next day when the body bag was reopened following his transfer to the morgue on the evening of September 5.

A funeral director questioned the date of the man’s death after his family said they had been with him on the evening of September 5 when it was believed he had passed away.

In evidence provided to the coroner by the doctor, they said there was fresh blood on the patient’s hospital gown which led the doctor to believe the man had not passed away.

“I believe the frank blood from a new skin tear, arm position and eye signs were inconsistent with a person who was post-mortem on arrival at the morgue,” the doctor wrote in his report.

“I also specifically asked about open disclosure and coronial discussions to which I was told the executive team would ensure this occurred if deemed necessary.”

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6 October 2022

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