View Full Version : Information on Morgues

12-08-2014, 04:33 AM
Pretty sure I'm posting in the right place
There's a not so surprising lack of info on them when I was trying to do research, so if anyone knows the answers to these questions Thank you

(specific questions)
-Are county morgues open at night? If so, since morgues have really tight security if someone was a doctor, would they be able to get in with just their ID? Or since its a county morgue would that not work.

Anything you can tell me really would work, I try to binge on research but I'm just stumped.

King Neptune
12-08-2014, 05:01 AM
You probably want to call or email a morgue. I don't know about county morgues, but the morgue in a hospital is open 24/7.

12-08-2014, 05:03 AM
Many morgues are located in the lower floor of hospitals. The bodies in morgues are those that are not claimed (yet) and those needing autopsies. A hospital might maintain a couple of bodies for study, but this is unusual.

Usually in hospitals, one or two staff members have access to the morgue during their shifts. People die at all hours, and need to be temporarily stored. Normally during non-business hours, the morgues are closed, as there really isn't anything to do.

In large cities, the morgue is a separate facility. During off hours, there are staff on duty, and access is permitted if there's a reason.

I'm not sure why a doctor would want to go into the morgue during non-business hours. A doctor would need his ID, but if the morgue is not in the hospital, I'd further be wondering why he needs to go there.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Mark G
12-12-2014, 03:16 AM
I called the morgue for the county where my story takes place and explained that I'm a writer and I was working on a fictional story. The woman who answered the phone was a creative writer herself, working on her forst novel! We chatted for a long time and she gave me lots of info.

I had planned to have a bad guy working at the morgue and she explained about how the background checks they do would most likely weed someone like that out. So I ended up making the bad guy an intern and "prospective" employee who was quickly alienating himself to the actual guys working for the coroner's office.

I recommend calling. Who knows... you might get lucky and end up talking to someone who really helps flesh out that part of your story.

King Neptune
12-12-2014, 03:33 AM
I recommend calling. Who knows... you might get lucky and end up talking to someone who really helps flesh out that part of your story.

And the worst they can do is hang up. Most people love to run off at the mouth about what they do.

C.M. Daniels
12-13-2014, 03:19 AM
I'm a coroner in a jurisdiction where we don't have our own M.E.'s office, so what we do is contract with one of the local funeral homes to do the storage and transportation for cases going to autopsy (which involves driving the body 130 miles to an M.E.'s office that does all the autopsies for the region). So, your character might have a much easier time getting into a funeral home?

12-13-2014, 05:51 PM
HIPAA still applies after death. Hospital morgues are closed to all non-essential personal and have cameras everywhere. It doesn't matter if your a MD, RN, or from enviromental services, going into the morgue without an express job-related task to preform can be cause for dismissal. That said, if your character has a contact there who wouldn't mind letting him fro whatever reason then it's somewhat plausible.

12-24-2014, 10:17 AM
Thank you everyone, I think I know what I'm going to do now.