Story Coronavirus pandemic of a new type that spread from China
In Serpukhov, a man was refused to give the body of his mother, who died from the coronavirus, until he paid 25,000 rubles for a special treatment of the corpse from viruses. The fact that such a new type of “service” appeared in morgues became known from social networks.
“These are the conditions of the epidemiological regime, and not our whim”
“Nothing can be done (with this „service“), — writes Irina. — My husband died on February 5, they took him to the morgue, where they billed more than 30,000 rubles. The body was not released without payment.
Michael faced the same problem. “There is no need to panic. Everyone is like that. The bodies are released only after processing or in a closed coffin. My friend, he is a deputy, he buried his father like that, — a man wrote in the comments.
With such a new kind of “service”; not only residents of the Moscow region encountered in morgues. In Syktyvkar, a man was also refused to give up the body of a deceased relative without paying for additional processing. The man recorded the conversation with the pathologist.
“All those who died with a covid infection since July are issued only in a closed coffin, — a man in a white coat answers him. — … A relative of the deceased does not even have the right to shift it into his own coffin … These are the conditions of the epidemiological regime, and not our whim.
An opponent in a verbal duel, who apparently came to find out why he was not given the body of a relative, asks: “What if I don’t have money to pay for special processing?” A man in a white coat retorts: “All work pays.”
As a result, the man paid 4,400 rubles for the treatment of the body, and the service « Putting the body in the coffin».
Past the cash desk
The era of coronavirus has made changes to the burial ritual, and in all regions they are completely different. Some relatives are forbidden to come close to the coffin. In other — they don’t even let you look at the body.
At the same time, the recommendations of Rospotrebnadzor “On the treatment of corpses in the context of COVID-19”; it is said that “to date there is no evidence that people have become infected from contact with bodies.”
Formally, the document does not prohibit relatives from participating in the farewell ceremony. The practice of burying bodies in closed coffins began with recommendations from the Ministry of Health. In the latest version of the document, the requirement for closed coffins has disappeared. While ritual agencies took bribes for promising to open the coffin during the farewell ceremony, their own way of enrichment was born within the walls of the morgue.
“Yes, now there is such a „service“, — told AiF.ru on condition of anonymity a nurse in the Volgograd morgue. — But all this money goes “by the cash register”, nothing is recorded in the official price list or other documents.
Often morgues write off the requirement for “special treatment” on special orders of Rospotrebnadzor. But it's really just an excuse.
“Rospotrebnadzor does not regulate the activities of morgues in terms of the implementation of moral and ethical standards, — answered AiF.ru in the department. — Sanitary rules establish requirements for premises adapted to ensure the activities of morgues. According to the law „On Protection of Consumer Rights“, when providing paid services, there must be a price list and an agreement that specifies all services and their cost».
From the budget
If you encounter with a similar situation and you are required to pay money for “specific processing”, lawyers advise you to immediately apply to the prosecutor's office and the Ministry of Health.
“In such a situation, any threats not to give out the body of the deceased, demands for additional payments from relatives are illegal, — says lawyer Konstantin Erokhin. — Despite this, ritual institutions include such services in their price list and appeal to this. So, back in 2020, several similar cases were identified, which were stopped by the prosecutor's office, and the Ministry of Health, based on the facts revealed, conducted an audit of the activities of sponsored institutions.
According to Konstantin Erokhin, there was a similar case in Komi. There, the republican prosecutor's office established that the pathoanatomical bureau should carry out additional disinfection actions, but they must be carried out exclusively at the expense of the budget of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.
“In this situation, I suggest that relatives immediately contact the local bodies of the Ministry of Health and the prosecutor's office, and also without fail to demand the recovery of moral damages from unscrupulous companies in the ritual sector, — says Konstantin Erokhin.
«The lack of full-fledged legal and law enforcement regulation of the delicate topic of the funeral business allows unscrupulous persons to enrich themselves at the expense of people who find themselves in a difficult situation, — says lawyer Dmitry Chernokaltsev. — Morgues are delaying the issuance of the bodies of the deceased to relatives who refuse to enter into an agreement with the “right funeral agency”. They impose additional „services“ like processing the bodies of those who died from covid. In a word, they show incredible imagination in extracting money from inconsolable relatives. Often morgues extort payment for services that should be provided free of charge, taking advantage of legal illiteracy and the difficult situation of the deceased's loved ones.
The lawyer notes: extorting money for additional disinfection of the bodies of those who died from covid and refusing to hand over the body without it is illegal. The actions of people who impose such a service may contain signs of a crime under Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Fraud”).
In accordance with the Federal Law “On Burial and Funeral Business”, the state guarantees the right to a decent funeral. Including the issuance of documents necessary for the burial of the deceased, within a day from the moment the cause of death was established, as well as the issuance of the body of the deceased at the request of the spouse, close relatives or other relatives.
“The services specified in the list, turn out to be specialized organizations, — says the expert. — They are created by local municipalities. The costs of providing such services are covered by the municipality and the Pension Fund. However, this area is not properly regulated, and, as a result, this gives rise to dishonesty and corruption on the part of specialized organizations (mortuaries)».