Information for family members
As you are probably reading this page after a death in the family or the death of a close friend, we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere condolences and hope you can find the strength to come through this difficult time with support from each other.
Here are some answers to questions we are often asked in these circumstances. We hope this will give you a better idea about some of the processes involved at the Institute of Forensic Medicine.
When and why is a body transferred to the Institute of Forensic Medicine?
How long is a body kept at the Institute of Forensic Medicine?
How are deceased persons dealt with at the Institute of Forensic Medicine?
Working with deceased persons is very challenging from both a technical and an emotional perspective and the Institute of Forensic Medicine ensures everything is done with due reverence. This also means taking into account the needs of family members as far as possible. Our personnel responsible for preparing the bodies devote the necessary time, skill and sensitivity to ensuring deceased persons are released to family members in a suitably decent and far more presentable condition than before the investigation process. Our personnel involved in these preparatory tasks also perform outstanding work in cases where bodies have sustained severe injuries.
Do family members receive a report detailing the results of investigations?
Where can I get information about the current status of investigations or the time when the body is to be released?
Can family members say their good-byes at the Institute of Forensic Medicine?
In cases where it has not been possible to say good-bye to a deceased person before they were transferred to our institute – which, for a variety of reasons, is not uncommon – we recommend arranging an opportunity to say good-bye with the undertakers at their premises. It would also be possible in principle to say good-bye at the institute, although the premises at our institute are primarily tailored to the identification of bodies and do not provide a suitable setting for saying good-bye to someone.