Services in case of death

During a time of grief, the family member of a deceased patient has to encounter feelings and take care of matters that he or she may not have encountered before and which may feel overwhelming. We hope that the information on this page helps in the grief caused by the death of a family member as well as in taking care of practical matters.

The staff of hospital units and services for family members of deceased patients will provide guidance on matters related to death. The unit nurses can inform family members about the patient's final moments in the hospital ward. The staff of the services for family members of deceased patients provides support and counselling on how to take care of matters after a death. Hospital priests are available to family members as hospital chaplains. Social workers counsel family members on how to take care of financial and practical matters.

When a patient has passed away, the family member should contact the deceased person's religious or other community as well as a funeral home as soon as possible. They can discuss matters related to the funeral as well as provide guidance on how to take care of other practical matters.

Saying goodbye to the deceased patient at the hospital

The deceased patient is transferred from the treatment unit to the mortuary soon after death. Persons who have not died at the hospital and who will undergo a cause of death investigation with an autopsy will also be transferred to the mortuary at Tays Central Hospital.

Family members may spend a moment with the deceased person in the treatment unit immediately after the death, or alternatively in the chapel located in the O building of Tays Central Hospital, when coming to retrieve the deceased person from the hospital with the funeral home staff. Upon special agreement, it is possible to say goodbye to the deceased person in the chapel facilities even before the funeral home retrieves him or her.

Family members need to make an appointment for visiting the chapel and retrieving the deceased person: on weekdays from 10 am to 3 pm, telephone 03 311 75752. The same number can also be used to inquire about the time of the autopsy or retrieval.

At the Valkeakoski Hospital and Vammala Hospital, deceased persons who will not undergo autopsy are transferred to the hospital's own mortuary. Family members can contact the unit where the person has deceased and agree on when they could come to see the deceased person. If an autopsy is performed on a deceased person who has died at a regional hospital, the deceased person is transferred to the mortuary of Tays Central Hospital.

Retrieving the deceased person from the hospital

Family members need to arrange the retrieval of the deceased person from the mortuary of Tays Central Hospital. After the deceased person has passed way, the family members should contact a funeral home as soon as possible. The funeral home will help with practical matters related to retrieval.

If the cause of death is clear, an autopsy to determine the cause of death will not be performed. In such cases, the deceased person can generally be retrieved already on the following day after the death.

If the cause of death is going to be investigated with a medical or forensic autopsy, the retrieval is delayed by a few days.

You can get more detailed information and instructions on matters related to retrieval by calling the morgue on weekdays from 10 am to 3 pm, telephone 03 311 75752.

Death certificate and burial permission

The treating physician writes a death certificate in the treatment unit if the cause of death is known at the time of death. The death certificate form includes the burial permission form. The burial permission is sent via mail to the deceased person's home address or to another address upon agreement. The family members receive a copy of the death certificate upon request.

Medical autopsy

The treating physician writes a death certificate in connection with a medical autopsy upon receiving the pathologist's statement of the cause of death. If the investigation of the cause of death requires follow-up investigation, the treating physician provides the burial permission after the autopsy and the death certificate later on.

The burial permission is sent via mail to the deceased person's home address or to another address upon agreement. The family members receive a copy of the death certificate upon request.

Forensic autopsy

A medical examiner writes the death certificate after a forensic autopsy. If the writing of the death certificate is delayed due to investigations, the medical examiner will first write a burial permission.

The burial permission is given to an employee of the funeral home that retrieves the deceased person from the morgue. Upon request, family members may receive a copy of the death certificate from the police, who together with the medical examiner determines whether a forensic cause of death investigation is necessary.

If you have questions related to forensic autopsies, you can call on weekdays from 8 am to 2 pm at the number 029 524 6022.

The clothes and items of the deceased person

If the deceased person has been treated in the ward, his or her belongings are released to the family member at the treatment unit.

If the deceased person was brought to the mortuary of the Central Hospital from outside, his or her belongings are released from the mortuary either to a family member or to the staff of the funeral home upon agreement when they retrieve the body.

The valuables of deceased persons are always saved, but the clothes may be in poor condition or torn, and in this case they are disposed of at the mortuary.

Taking photographs in the facilities for deceased persons

Taking photographs in the facilities for deceased persons at Tays is only allowed for the staff of the facilities, the pathologist, the medical examiner and police authorities. Everyone else is forbidden from taking photographs in the facilities of the autopsy unit.

The family members of the deceased person can take photographs in the chapel facilities if they wish.

Bill for the hospital treatment of the deceased person

If the deceased person has been treated in the treatment unit, the bill for the hospital treatment is sent to the deceased person's home address. If the cost limit of the deceased person has been reached during the last hospital treatment, a notification will be sent along with the bill. In questions related to the deceased person's cost limit, you can contact the hospital's Patient Office on weekdays from 10 am to 2 pm, phone 03 311 66405.

Investigation of the cause of death with autopsy does not cause costs to the deceased person or his or her family member.

Release of the deceased person's patient records

The information on the patient record is confidential even after the patient's death. The patient record of the deceased person may be released only when it is necessary in order to investigate or implement important benefits or rights of the requesting person. The person requesting the information does not have the right to view all of the patient records of the deceased person without restrictions.

A deceased person's patient records may be requested from the patient record centre. The request must always state the intended purpose and justifications for release. The request can be made to the Patiend Record Centre. The request is submitted to the following address: Tays, Potilaskertomuskeskus, P.O. Box 2000, FI-33521 Tampere.