Volume 8, Issue 4 (OCTOBER 2009)                   Payesh 2009, 8(4): 401-406 | Back to browse issues page

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Abstract:   (5666 Views)

2009; 8: 401-406
Accepted for publication: 15 March 2009
[EPub a head of print-5 October 2009]

Objective(s): In the wake of a natural disaster, dealing with dead bodies is one of the most difficult issues in the early response phase, requiring careful planning in advance. It follows that the risk analysis phase for any natural disaster should include a study of the history of similar events and a thorough review of the measures taken as well as the difficulties faced by those involved in the disposal of dead bodies.
Methods: This was a qualitative study comprising the following stages: 1) data collection through in-depth interviews with over 30 people- including those in managerial positions- who were involved in the response phase after the Bam earthquake, 2) data analysis based on the grounded theory, 3) data extraction and identification of key variables, and 4) development of a theoretical model based on these variables.
Results: In the response phase after the Bam event, key issues regarding the management of human corpses were identification, confirmation of death, and burying the bodies. The most prominent issues fell into the following categories: 1) problems with the procedures and structures employed in corpse management, 2) problems with identification, 3) acceptability to the community of the procedures used in corpse management, and 4) inadequate attention to specific technical details as regards confirmation of death and burial.
Conclusion: In the event of another disaster, the present structures and procedures cannot mount an adequate response with regard to corpse management. Experience from other countries has shown that the disruption caused by major disasters can provoke hasty, injudicious decisions with irremediable adverse consequences. Problems do exist, but they must not serve as an excuse to compromise standards and ignore basic requirements for death confirmation, corpse identification, and proper burial.

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type of study: Descriptive |
Accepted: 2018/11/28 | Published: 2009/10/15

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