[PHOTOS] Refugees Pile Up in Greek Island Morgue Because Doctors Can’t Handle the Sheer Scale of Paperwork 

Imogen Calderwood reports: Horrific images have emerged of bodies of refugees piling up in a Greek island morgue, because doctors are unable to handle the sheer volume of work required to bury them.

Gruesome: Bodies of refugees and migrants piled up at the main hospital of the Greek island of Samos. The island has no trained coroners and doctors are unable to cope with the scale of work at the hospital

Gruesome: Bodies of refugees and migrants piled up at the main hospital of the Greek island of Samos. The island has no trained coroners and doctors are unable to cope with the scale of work at the hospital

Severely understaffed hospitals on the Greek islands can’t keep up with the volume of bodies – including those of children – arriving at the hospitals every day.

The gruesome problem is only going to get worse as the winter weather worsens, and increasing numbers of refugees find themselves in trouble while crossing the perilous Aegean Sea.

Unable to cope: Dozens of migrants and refugee continue to cross the Aegean every day, and increasing numbers are dying while attempting the perilous crossing as the winter weather gets worse

Unable to cope: Dozens of migrants and refugee continue to cross the Aegean every day, and increasing numbers are dying while attempting the perilous crossing as the winter weather gets worse

Doctors at the main hospital on the Greek island of Samos had been issuing certificates stating that drowning was the cause of death, without carrying out post-mortems.

Waiting for burial: Up until now, doctors have been issuing certificates without post-mortems. But the practice has come to the attentions of the country's coroners' association, which has branded it illegal

Waiting for burial: Up until now, doctors have been issuing certificates without post-mortems. But the practice has come to the attentions of the country’s coroners’ association, which has branded it illegal

Growing problem: Migrants and refugees disembark from a small boat after crossing from the Turkish coast on the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos today

Growing problem: Migrants and refugees disembark from a small boat after crossing from the Turkish coast on the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos today

Relief: Drowning at sea is classed as a violent death by the coroners' association, and therefore a post-mortem is mandatory. Pictured, refugees and migrants arriving on Lesbos today

Relief: Drowning at sea is classed as a violent death by the coroners’ association, and therefore a post-mortem is mandatory. Pictured, refugees and migrants arriving on Lesbos today

This allowed the bodies to be reclaimed by families and for funerals to go ahead.

[Read the full story here, at Daily Mail Online]

But the practice has come to the attention of the country’s coroners’ association, the Hellenic Society of Forensic Medicine, which has condemned it as illegal and is threatening the doctors involved with legal action.

‘It is all very well to demand an autopsy,’ said a spokesman for the hospital in Samos.

Survival: Greek authorities said that 1,244 refugees and migrants have been rescued from their dilapidated boats and dinghies over the past three days in the Aegean Sea, as thousands continue to attempt to dangerous crossing

Survival: Greek authorities said that 1,244 refugees and migrants have been rescued from their dilapidated boats and dinghies over the past three days in the Aegean Sea, as thousands continue to attempt to dangerous crossing

Rescued: A Syrian woman holds her baby after their arrival on a small boat from the Turkish coast on the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos

Rescued: A Syrian woman holds her baby after their arrival on a small boat from the Turkish coast on the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos

A Syrian refugee child sleeps in his father's arms while waiting at a resting point to board a bus, after arriving on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos

A Syrian refugee child sleeps in his father’s arms while waiting at a resting point to board a bus, after arriving on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos

A Syrian man kisses his daughter shortly after disembarking from a dinghy at a beach on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from the Turkish coast

A Syrian man kisses his daughter shortly after disembarking from a dinghy at a beach on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from the Turkish coast

‘But there are no trained coroners on the island, which is why we have to rely on doctors to issue certificates to the best of their ability.

Drowning at sea is classed as a violent death by the coroners’ association, and therefore a post-mortem is mandatory.

But the hospitals are so understaffed that they cannot provide anyone to carry out the tests.

Some families of the deceased have also objected to a post-mortem being carried out on religious grounds, which has reportedly further delayed the removal of bodies….(read more)

Source: Daily Mail Online



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