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Monday, April 23, 2012

What is "Legally Dead" in Thailand

With all the talk about the 7 deadly days and more in Thailand And also becoming involved in reporting a death in Thailand and have been trying to find out just when is a Thai legally dead and an actual "statistic". If you are in a road accident and let's say your head is ripped off during the 7 deadly days, off course you are dead, but are you counted as a statistic. The police on the scene, can they pronounce a person dead at the site and is a person then counted as a statistic, road fatality. Is that person automatically taken to a hospital to be legally reported dead. What if the person has life insurance? What if they do not have life insurance? When does the Government of Thailand consider that person legally dead. Are you a Songkran death if you die later of injuries? If a person dies in a hospital, the hospital records the death and it's cause and the police fill out a report. Later the hospital forwards the hospital report to the police who provide, what I call a report (document) to be used to file a report of death. Now if the person is resident in a village the body is returned to the family and the usual village ceremonies begin. Thais believe that the mind stays in the body for 24 hours after death and the cremation can take place after that time. Families often go into debt to pay for a death in Isaan. Not all people die in their natal village, amphor or Province in which they are registered. In my case once I had the police document and the Phu Yai Baan (village chief), where the temple was located sent his report to the Nai Amphors Office the Nai Amphors Office issued what I would call a "death certificate". As the person I am talking about had insurance and I wanted to ensure I was doing everything correctly I proceeded to visit a retired Government Official that I have known and respected for many years. The first thing he told me was that the house book (tambian baan) had to be sent to the amphor where it was issued along with a copy of the reporting amphor', where the death occurred, death certificate and the person would be registered as deceased and so stamped in the house book. This must be done within 15 days of the death. Next I was told by the insurance company that an insurance company form had to be filled out by the attending physician. This, of course, is the case for those people with insurance. Still their are more questions than answers.
1.If a person is in an accident during Songkran and later dies of those injuries, as I am sure must happen with some regularuty, why is that person not counted as a Songkran death.
2. I would think that many village people die and their deaths are not "completely" reported. A death is not completely reported until the "house Book" has the death entered "stamped".
3. In the case of a road accident, when is that person considered a "road accident fatality"?

As you can see there are many questions relative to the reporting not only of a "normal" death let alone a road accident, or drowning or deaths of other causes in Thailand