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Hospice under scanner for 'unauthorised' disposal of dead


Press Trust of India Chennai
A hospice for destitutes "on the verge of dying" has come under the scanner for alleged unauthorised disposal of the dead and is likely to be closed soon, officials said today.

According to them, the licence of the hospice near here had expired and probe was on into a vault system to bury the dead found in the facility.

They were also looking into allegations of ill-treatment of the inmates, officials said even as the management of the hospice denied any wrong doing.

The St.Joseph's Hospice in neighbouring Kancheepuram district came under the lens following recent transportation of the body of an elderly man along with two senior citizens besides vegetables in a van owned by it.

The van was intercepted by locals on suspicion.

Police had seized the body and sent it to a government hospital.

Officials said the inmates of the hospice were being shifted to other homes and after the process was over, the facility was likely to be sealed.

Father R V Thomas, founder of the hospice, denied there was any wrong-doing on its part, but admitted that transporting the aged and the body in the van was 'wrong'.

About 325 persons were living there and it was a home for the destitutes "who are on the verge of dying," he told reporters here today a day after officials started shifting the inmates of the facility.

"Such persons are admitted in the hospice only after a police memo and a discharge summary from a government hospital suggesting palliative care," he said.

Deaths were a common occurrence in the hospice and almost on a daily basis, he said.

On transportation of two senior citizens -- a man and a woman along with the corpse in the van, he claimed only one vehicle was available that day and that the decision was taken by the driver of the vehicle.

"It is (however) wrong," he added.

Thomas acknowledged the presence of the vault system in the hospice and claimed every death was reported to the Village Administrative Officer and registered.

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First Published: Feb 27 2018 | 8:55 PM IST

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