What happens when someone dies unexpectedly?
This situation may occur through an accident, suicide or someone being found dead without any warning of prior illness. When this happens, the death becomes a “coroner’s case” and the death is immediately reported to the Police, or, if an ambulance has been called and they attend, the St John staff will notify the Police. This is often a traumatic situation for families having to deal with so many different people, along with the sudden death of a family member. Once the Police have attended and an official identification of the deceased has taken place, the Police will call a Police doctor who will confirm life extinct. The Police will then contact a duty funeral director who has the Police contract for that area to transfer the deceased to the mortuary (in this case, the Auckland City Hospital Mortuary) where a post-mortem (also known as an autopsy) will be conducted.
NOTE: IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT THE FAMILY IS NOT OBLIGED TO USE THE FUNERAL DIRECTORS WHO TRANSPORTED THE DECEASED TO THE MORTUARY AFTER A SUDDEN DEATH, BUT CAN CHOOSE ANYONE THEY WISH TO. THE INITIAL ATTENDING FUNERAL DIRECTORS ARE ENGAGED BY THE POLICE ON A CONTRACT BASIS ONLY TO EFFECT THE TRANSFER OF THE DECEASED.