Number of unclaimed bodies increasing

The number of unclaimed bodies at the government hospital mortuaries increased to 304 in 2010 from 299 in 2006.

Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai said the unclaimed bodies last year comprised 195 male adults, 58 female adults and 51 babies under one year old.

“The most number of unclaimed bodies in 2010 was at Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Bahru, at 60,” he said in his written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

In 2006, the bodies of 202 male adults, 43 female adults and 54 babies were unclaimed. Out of the total number, the Kuala Lumpur Hospital’s Department of  Forensic Medicine had the most, at 98.

Liow said the unclaimed bodies would be dealt with according to the existing procedure with the assistance of the police by contacting the next of kin of the deceased.

He said that when it had been confirmed that no one had come to claim the bodies, the funeral arrangements would be made according to the religion of the deceased like handing over the bodies to the Islamic Religious Department (for
Muslims) or religious associations (for non-Muslims).

“But if there are requests that fulfil certain criteria, the unclaimed bodies will be handed to the local higher learning institutions which have  requested for the bodies for medical study and research purposes,” he added.

– Bernama