DEATHS

When an expatriate dies his or her embassy should be advised without delay. The police should also be notified. Formal identification of the body is made by next of kin, the deceased’s sponsor or company representative.

The body should be taken to a coroner’s office. These are attached to the mortuaries in public hospitals. The coroner will undertake a postmortem examination and establish the cause of death. The postmortem will include a full autopsy where the corpse is that of a foreigner, or death has resulted from an accident, or there is a suggestion of foul play. A death report is issued by the coroner, which must be taken to the Central Registry for Births & Deaths to have a death certificate issued. There is no charge for the death certificate.

Once the death certificate has been issued, burial is immediate unless the corpse is required as an exhibit in a court case. Burial may take place in a municipal graveyard. There are also several expatriate graveyards in Kuwait. Burials are free. Cremation is not allowed.

If the corpse needs to be repatriated to the deceased’s country of origin, this is best left to a major forwarding agent who can handle all the formalities. A properly lined coffin which will preserve the body during the voyage costs from KD250 upwards. The postmortem report and the death certificate attested by both the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs, as well as a police clearance certificate, are required to enable the body to leave Kuwait.

The deceased’s passport will need to be handed over to his or her embassy for cancellation. The embassy may also issue a death certificate based on the Kuwaiti death certificate, autopsy report and police report, which may be required by the deceased insurers.