The following guidance has been provided for hospitals, care homes and other settings for times when the Misaskim staff are unavailable. Please download our Hospital Guidance Leaflet and store on your ward or intranet for easy access.
Please note: Over the Sabbath and Festivals our teams will be unable to respond hence please follow the instructions below and then leave a message on the Misaskim answerphone and we will respond as soon as possible.
GUIDELINES FOR DEALING WITH DYING AND DECEASED JEWISH PATIENTS ISSUED BY THE MANCHESTER BETH DIN IN CONJUCTION WITH THE HEBREW VISITATION BOARD, THE JEWISH VISITING SERVICES, AND MISASKIM
- If a Jewish patient is seen to be approaching death, the next of kin should be informed. If no relative is available, contact should be made with either the visiting Jewish Chaplain, or the minister of the patients Synagogue OR MISASKIM MANCHESTER.
- Similarly in case of death, inform those mentioned in paragraph 1.
- The body of the deceased should remain untouched for a period of 20 minutes, during which time venflons and ET tubes etc. should remain in place.
- If, after this period has elapsed, no member of the family or Jewish community capable of dealing with the body has arrived, the following procedure should be carried out by the Nursing staff:
- The eyes and mouth should be closed. The mouth should be held in a closed position by placing a cloth under the chin and tying it above the head.
- The fingers of each hand should be straightened and the hands and arms should be parallel to the body. Similarly, the legs and feet should be straightened
- The body should be laid flat with any pillows etc removed.
- Any tubes etc. or artificial limbs should be removed and any incisions plugged so as to prevent or stem a flow of blood
- Any excess dirt should be wiped away or washed off
- The body, still fully clothed, should be wrapped in a sheet and placed in the hospital mortuary IN THE FRIDGE where it should remain untouched pending the arrival of the authorised Jewish undertaker or his representative
- The Jewish Sabbath commences on Friday at sunset and ends on Saturday with nightfall. Similarly, all Jewish festivals commence sunset and end with nightfall. During this period it will not be possible to make contact with the chaplain or Jewish undertakers, nor will they be able to attend the body. The procedure outlined above should therefore be adopted
- The washing and preparation of the body for burial are intrinsic parts of Jewish ritual which should remain the prerogative of the Jewish Burial Society.
- It would be helpful if the body of the deceased could be labelled with the word “Jewish”. Writing on the body itself would cause distress to the relatives.
- Jewish law necessitates the carrying out of a funeral, as soon as possible after death. It is therefore important to assist in the provision of a death certificate at the earliest possible opportunity thereby enabling arrangements to be commenced.
- When the registrar is closed, facilities exist for obtaining a disposal note to allow burial to take place. Relatives of the deceased should be advised to contact Mr. Green on 0161 740 4830 as soon as possible after 10.00am on Sunday mornings and public holidays.
- Jewish law requires the body to remain totally intact after death and regards the carrying out of a post-mortem as a desecration of the body. Care should therefore be taken to ensure that the relatives of Jewish patients are not asked to consent to a post-mortem not required by law (i.e. ordered by a Coroner), as this is likely to cause offence and distress.
- Similarly, Jewish law insists on burial rather than cremation and any suggestion to carry out cremation would also cause offence and distress.
- All still births require burial.
- In the event of miscarriage, the parents should be consulted about disposal of the foetus to enable them to consult their Rabbi OR MISASKIM. for guidance.
- In the event of a pregnant woman dying without there being a possibility of safely delivering the child, the mother and child should be buried together without a caesarean section being performed.
- Occasionally, a request may be received for members of the family or the Jewish community to remain with the deceased either at the bedside or after the body has been removed to the mortuary. The request is in keeping with the Jewish tradition and should be treated favourably wherever possible.
- In the event of a death taking place where the deceased has no known next of kin or any other person to effect burial arrangements, contact should initially be made with the Jewish Chaplain. In his absence or in the event of him being unobtainable, contact can be made, during normal working hours, (including Sundays from 10.00am to 1.00pm) with the Jewish Communal Burial Board on 0161 740 9711 OR MISASKIM 24 HOURS A DAY SUN – FRI
- In the event of you having any general difficulty regarding the death and / or funeral arrangements for a Jewish patient, please contact:
- MISASKIM – 0161 660 4446
- The Jewish undertakers are Messrs. Goldfine. They can be contacted when necessary on 0161 740 2487.