WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMEONE DIES: PROCEDURE FOR FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS

Some of the information on this page is specific to residents of Bradford Metropolitan District and different procedures may apply in other local authorities.

The one thing that is certain to take place in this world is death. Yet, despite the certainty of death, the majority of us are ignorant of the procedures to be filled to ensure a burial takes place speedily and smoothly in accordance with the Islamic Shariah.

The procedures below are basic practical guidelines which will assist anyone facing bereavement. Naturally, next of kin and close relatives will be a state of shock and grief; therefore it is the responsibility of close relatives and friends to assist them with the arrangements for burial.

The following persons should be contacted immediately when death has taken place in the family:

  • The family doctor.
  • The local undertaker/funeral directors
  • Imam of the local mosque
  • Necessary relatives and neighbours

If Death Occurs at Home - Cause of Death Known

1. Contact the family general practitioner immediately. Provided the doctor attended the dead person during his last illness and can certify the cause of death he will issue a medical certificate free of charge. It will state the cause of death.

2. Inform the local undertaker that a medical certificate has been issued. The undertaker will make all the arrangements with the cemetery for burial. He will advise the time and place for burial. He will arrange for the body to be taken for washing.

3. A close relative preferably, a son or brother should take the medical certificate to the Registrar of Births and Deaths of the district/borough where the death took place for registration. He should have with him the following information: the deceased person's NHS medical card (if available), the deceased person’s usual address, the deceased date of birth, town and country of birth, occupation, and date of birth of widow or widower. The Registrar is normally based in the Civic offices or the Town Hall. The Registrar will issue two free certificates.

  • Certificate disposal (green certificate) this certificate should be given to the undertaker as an authorisation for burial.
  • Certificate of Registration of Death - this is for social security purposes and for probate etc. Take it to the local social security office if you wish to clam death grant or widow benefits. Once has to wait for this certificate to be issued. Otherwise it will be posted to your address.

During public holidays or after office hours the certificate of disposal can be obtained from the Registrar of Death from his home. His/her telephone number can be obtained from the Funeral Director or Council for Mosques. This service is only available in the event of an emergency i.e. if burial needs to take place and offices are closed.

4. It is recommended that at least four persons to be present to help bathe and carry the body. Washing will normally take place at the undertaker’s premises or at the local mosque if facilities are available.

5. After performing Janaza Namaz (funeral prayers) at the mosque or at the Cemetery, the body is taken in a coffin to the grave yard. The latest time of burial should be checked with particular Cemeteries. In Bradford arrangements with Council for Mosques can be made for burial at any time.

Certain Cemeteries do not allow coffin boxes to be opened at the grave yard. Therefore to ensure the head of the deceased is facing the Qibla the necessary should be done before entering the Cemetery.

Death Occurs at Home - Cause of Death Unknown

1. Where the Doctor is unable to certify the cause of death he will report the death to the police who in turn will inform the Coroner (who is responsible for investigating certain deaths)

The matter will be referred to the Coroner if death occurs in any of the following circumstances.

  • If the deceased person was not attended by a Doctor during his last illness or within 14 days of death
  • If the cause of death is uncertain
  • If death was sudden, violent or caused by an accident
  • If death was caused by industrial disease

The coroner will probably arrange for a post-mortem examination of the body. The consent of the relatives is not needed for this but they can choose a Doctor to be present. The main purpose for carrying out the post-mortem is to ascertain the cause of death.

2. The Coroner's office will issue a pink form if the post-mortem shows that death was caused by natural causes. You must take this pink notice to the Registrar of Deaths to obtain a certificate and a Certificate of Disposal and a Registration of Deaths. (See above)

3. The rest of the procedures are exactly the same as above.

4. If after the post-mortem examination, the cause of death is uncertain or was due to an accident, violence, or industrial disease then an inquest will be held.

An inquest is an enquiry into the medical cause and circumstance of death. It is held in public and is sometimes with the jury. It is up to the Coroner how to organise the enquiry in a way to best serve the public interest and the interest of the relatives.

Relatives can attend and ask questions to witness with the Coroners permission, or be represented by a lawyer. It may be important to have a lawyer to represent you if death was caused by a road accident or an accident at work, which could lead to a claim of compensation. But if you cannot get legal aid for this, after the inquest the coroner will give free of charge an order for burial or will send a certificate to the Registrar stating the cause of death.

Death Occurs in Hospital - Cause of Death is Known

1. If the doctor is aware of the cause of death, he will issue a medical certificate so that the disposal certificate can be obtained from the Registrar of Deaths. The Doctor may want to carry out a post-mortem but has to obtain the permission of the nearest relative. If the post-mortem is required purely for the satisfaction of the Doctor or the hospital then the permission is not normally given by the relative in which case they to respect the wished of the close relative. The body will be released to the undertaken to burial in which case procedures outlined above should be followed.

2. Normally they would transfer the body from the ward to the hospital mortuary, but if arrangements are made swiftly then the body can be collected by the undertaker from the ward and taken to the undertaker’s mortuary.

3. If is important to bear in mind that the death must be registered in the district/borough of the hospital where they death took place.

4. Once the medical certificate has been issued by the Doctor and the undertaker has confirmed the time of burial, arrangements should be made for the bathing of the body. The undertaker will carry the body from the hospital to the place of washing and then to the Cemetery for burial. If the body is to be sent out of the country then permission is needed from the Coroner and another certificate is required to accompany the body. Passport of diseased is needed for this.

Death Occurs in Hospital - Cause of Death is Unknown

Where the Doctor is unable to certify the cause of death he will report to the Coroner. The same procedures as outlined above (death occurs at home-cause of death unknown) will apply.

Burials normally take place on weekdays but certain Cemeteries do allow burials to take place at weekends and on public holidays.

Council for Mosque in Bradford is in charge of Muslim Cemetery at Scholemoor and Bowling where burials can take place anytime.

Death in Hospital

Hospital will normally issue Medical Certificate giving cause of death. This can be taken with identification of deceased for registration. Family will sign release of body if taken from Ward. No need if taken to mortuary. Body can be collected. In Bradford can make request for registration at BRI but this is often not a speedy appointment. All requests for appointments made with Registrars office are appointment only. Tel: 01274 423 149

Reasons for which no medical certificates will be given:

  • Patient has not been hospital in the last 24hrs - Try GP if he has seen patient within the last 14 days. The GP may have to go for identification if willing to sign.
  • Patient has died soon after surgery - has not recovered from surgery - has had an accident or has an industrial related death - will be referred to a Coroner. Await his ruling.
  • Hospital is unsure - sudden or expected death - reported to Coroner. Await ruling.

Death at Home

Contact GP - Police only if suspicious death.

If GP signs Medical Certificate giving cause of death - deceased can be removed. If not available or unwilling to sign. Coroner will collect.

Coroner

Once referred to Coroner the decision will be made whether or not PM will take place.

  • If no PM a 'Part A' will be issued by Coroner - to be collected & taken to Registrar. (Coroner is satisfied)
  • After PM 'Part B' will be issued. Collect and take to Registrar.
  • 'Part C' - If Coroner requires an inquest usually after PM a formal opening of the inquest will take place after which an 'Order for Burial' will be issued. Burial can take place but no registration.

Opening Hours. Monday-Thursday 8:30-5.pm, Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Sat. Closed.

On call - Saturday-Sunday - Bank Holidays 8.am-4.pm, either day. Telephone: Police Operation Room, request on duty Coroner officers. For Out of County only.

This service is only for Out of Country only and will not include any death which has a query. After ringing Coroner officer will ring back. He will want as much detail as possible (make sure there is no query which will entail registration being refused if not already registered - such as industrial disease etc) Ask family for Medical cause of death certificate, Passport if available Details required - cause and circumstances of death - Dr signing - flight etc. Coroner’s officer will contact Coroner - give circumstances and arrange appointment. On collection take Out of Country request along with original Death Registration.

Registrar

Registrar will require appropriate medical certificate - diseased medical card - passport - birth - marriage certificate or other form of identification. Telephone: 01274 432 149 or 01274 432 150

For Adults

Certificate of Registration and Green Certificates for Burial will be issued. Registration Certificate alone if going out of county.

For Children

As for adults

For Stillborn

If over 24 weeks and deceased has not shown signs of life a 'Medical Certificate of Stillbirth' will be issued. Birth and death will have to be registered. Registration can only be carried out by mother (out of wedlock) or either parent if married.

Foetus

If under 24 weeks a certificate of 'non viability will be issued. No registration.

Opening Hours

Monday-Friday 9.am-4:30.pm Sat 9.am-4.pm

On Call

Saturdays and Bank Holidays 9.am-11.am

When death has occurred outside normal business hours and family wants Sunday burial or are applying for out of county.

Out of Hours Telephone

Numbers can be obtained from funeral director. Venue and time will be arranged.

Please contact us for any other information on our office telephone number 01274 780056

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