Life and loathings of a new doctor: A grave subject
- By: Stephen Goldie
Part of the almost daily routine of a junior doctor is to certify the death of patients who die on your ward. For various reasons I have found that the grim reaper tends to swing his scythe in the medical wards more often when compared to my experiences in the surgical wards. Legally it's a huge responsibility to certify a death and therefore it's important not to become too lackadaisical about it, despite the almost monotony of it. Emotionally it can be quite tough; my first death was a patient younger than me. I like to think that my degree in anatomy has hardened me to dealing with the deceased. It can be disconcerting, however, to certify someone dead when they are still warm.
In the United Kingdom, a family may choose to bury or cremate the remains of their deceased relative. If they decide on the latter method then