Repatriation of mortal remains (RMR) can be logistically very challenging and
emotionally taxing for those individuals charged with the task. If the process involves an
organization (i.e., corporation, school, government) seamless coordination between multiple stakeholders, domestically and abroad, is paramount to a successful and timely outcome.
In this whitepaper, Patrick Deroose, RN, outlines “best practices” in this very unique space
where he is considered a world subject matter expert. He has personally overseen thousands
of RMR’s around the world over the last three decades. He has consolidated his lists in
the text, in bullet points based, on personal experiences with meticulous detail while never omitting the welfare of the family of the deceased.
Patrick’s narrative is deliberately repetitive to emphasize to the reader the importance of
every step. The report begins with a preparation “recipe,” for any organization, regardless
of industry sector. The process itself is complicated and he reinforces it with a checklist. He even addresses the multiple “misadventures” that are possible in the process! Such a humble and transparent approach reminds the reader that even after extensive planning and the best service delivery, unpredictable events can still occur.
Attached to the document, via a link, are multiple appendices each of which provides
extensive details to those unique dimensions of RMR including, topics such as mass casualties, infectious diseases, and an historical (cultural/religious) perspective on death. Interested readers are encouraged to access this link.
Robert L. Quigley, MD, D.Phil,
Executive Chairman, ICHLC