Whoops, wrong corpse

Posted on February 15, 2006 

Whoops, wrong corpse

A Serbian funeral director is facing legal action after organising the burial of a man who was still alive.

The mistake was noticed only as the coffin was being lowered into the ground, prompting angry scenes from relatives who had flown in from as far as America.

The Topalovic family from Novi Sad in Serbia rang relatives to inform them of the death of the head of their family, Bogoljub Topalovic, 84, who they were told had passed away in hospital.

But they realised a mistake had been made when Bogoljub rang his daughter on her mobile during the funeral service to ask why no-one had been to visit him for a few days.

An investigation into the mix-up exposed a system where medical staff tipped off funeral staff about deaths.

A nurse noted down the wrong name as she hurried to be the first to inform the funeral parlour and claim a cash bonus.

Slobodan Curic, head of the haematology clinic in Novi Sad, said: “We are extremely sorry for the mix-up and are taking the matter very seriously.

“It was not in the nurse’s jurisdiction to inform the funeral company about the death of a patient, and we shall be taking disciplinary measures against her.”

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from Ananova

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