Emotional composure key to proper corpse identification - News Hunter Magazine

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Saturday, 6 June 2015

Emotional composure key to proper corpse identification

Pathologist, Professor Badu Akosah, says relatives of victims ofthe
fire and flood disaster need to first keep their emotions in check if
they are to correctly identify the dead.

"People must as much as possible dampen their emotions," he told Joy
News Friday.

Several families are living in great anxiety and are in search of
missing loved ones feared dead after about 150 people perished ina
flooding and fire disaster Wednesday night.

Many thronged the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Police hospital and the
37 Military hospital, all in Accra, with a churning mix of dread and
hope of finding their relatives dead or alive.

For the victims of the fire disaster,it could prove difficult to
identify the victims because some of them were burnt beyond instant
recognition.

The pathologist is advising that relatives who are very close to
themissing persons and can identify them by examining their toes,
fingers and very "little, little marks," should be those doing the
identification.

But before they even start the exercise, Prof Akosah wants
professionals in these hospitals to talk to the anxious family
members.

They should get them to "relax as much as possible", he explained,
because they often "get so emotional they don't even look at the body"
Akosah stressed.

He regrets that the use of dental records in identifying the dead is
not a popular option in Ghana. Otherwise, it is one of the "easiest
ways" of identification.

A more thorough option, which is DNA identification, is "very
expensive" in Ghana, he noted.

But it could be an option if the government is prepared to pay forit
and if all other ways of identification fail, the pathologist
suggested.



Credit: Myjoyonline.com

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