May 8th, 2007

Required to view the body?

My Google-fu is coming up short again. Context is present-day United States, common practices.

Most of us have probably been the cliche' on some movie or television show wherein a survivor must view the body of a deceased person before the casket can be closed or sealed. Is this actually a legal requirement? I'm dealing with a character who was killed in a fire and is burned beyond recognition; the body has been identified by officials via dental records, but is it necessary for someone to "identify the body" before the casket is sealed for burial?

Searched for terms such as "family must view body before burial," "funeral home viewing," "family identify body," and dug through websites about funeral home practices. Mostly what I've come up with is a lot of news articles about identified dead, and the fact that the funeral home must let you see the body if you ask, but nothing about whether someone is required to peek in there before the funeral.

Bonus question: if there isn't going to be an open casket viewing, does a body have to be dressed in order to be buried? I can't imagine it's against the law to bury a naked body, but is it common practice to dress a body no one is going to see?
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Gun shot wounds and bleeding out

I have a character who gets shot while on the run from the government.  I'm thinking stomach, because I need her to bleed out in a major way without having her die.  Since the government's not feeling too friendly towards her, she'll have to be able to get medical attention Underground.  I have a surgeon, but not anything resembling a sterile operating room.  So:
Where could she be shot without dying or having to suspend the readers belief too much?
How would she get sewn up?
Would they leave the bullet or try to take it out?

A little background information: it's set fifteen to twenty years in the future, in Poland if that's relevant.  I'm imagining the gun to be a Walther P99, which is a 9mm, fired at probably three or four metres.

Thanks so much for all the information.

edit: I did google and wiki it, but only found some pictures and medical journals.

small Latin place on Market St. in SF in 1997?



This is an odd question but would anyone know the name of and any other info on a small, Latin American fusion place on Market Street in San Francisco just east of Castro Street? It was small and had decent prices and was open circa 1997 but I don't know how long it lasted. My friend and I went there in early summer of 1997, and I want to use it as a point of reference in something I am working on . . . the real name of the place would be nice.

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