UK & World News
Morgue Rejects Man's Body For Being Too Fat
A funeral director in northwest Australia has had to store the body of a 200kg (31.5 stone) man in her car overnight because it was refused by a hospital morgue for being "too fat".
Joanne Cummings said she had to drive to her home in Roebourne, two hours away from the morgue, with the corpse in her hearse.
Temperatures in the area average around 28C (82F) during the day, and Ms Cummins said she had to keep the air conditioning at full blast to keep the body cool during the drive.
She also had to keep the air conditioning running overnight, using three tanks of petrol, and checked the body every 30 minutes.
The following morning, she and her business partner hired a sea container with a chiller and placed the body inside there.
Ms Cummings, the co-owner of Pilbara Funeral Services in Port Hedland in Western Australia, said the Hedland Health Campus had refused large bodies before.
It had rejected a man weighing 250kg (39.4 stone) last year, claiming it did not have the equipment to cope with a body of that size.
"(A member of staff) walked out and looked at this gentleman in the back of the car and said: 'He's too fat, he can't go in the fridge'," Ms Cummings told the North West Telegraph.
She went on: "I could probably put a baby elephant in one of those fridges and it'd fit through the door, and they're refusing entry for a human being.
"My issue is if that was your father, mother, partner? you wouldn't want them refused entry into the mortuary."
Ron Wynn, regional director of the WA Country Health Service, said in a statement the Hedland Health Campus equipment was only allowed to store bodies up to 150kg.
But he said the service was considering installing equipment that would double the limit to 300kg.
"Staff will meet with the Pilbara Funeral Services to develop a formal agreement for receiving and storing deceased persons at Hedland Health Campus," he said.
"It is imperative that at all times a deceased person is treated with the utmost care and respect and viewings are arranged so as not to cause distress and inconvenience to grieving families."