The Lewis County Coroner’s Office (LCCO) has this program available
where a person who is under a physician’s care for a documented long-term
illness and who is receiving care (either from family or from a facility) can
be enrolled in the pre-registration program.
To be added to the pre-registration list the primary care
physician has to complete and submit an LCCO Pre-Registration form that
contains the patient’s demographics, the next of kin names and contact, and the
mortuary of choice. The form also states the primary care physician will sign
the Death Certificate and what they would list as the cause of death.
Once received at LCCO the form is reviewed for completeness
and then the patient’s information is entered into the computer database used
by LCCO as well as law enforcement and fire districts.
If the person does pass away at home the family can call the
mortuary directly. The mortuary confirms with the LCCO the person is pre-registered and
they come to the residence to remove the decedent. There is no need to call 911
and have a response by fire/EMS and law enforcement.
This sounds all well and good but it is when a loved one is dying
at home in front of the family the natural instinct is to call 911 and that is
perfectly okay. Having the person registered in the database allows responding
units to see they are pre-registered with this office. Once EMS arrives if the
family decides they want attempts made to resuscitate the person that can be
done as well.
The pre-registration program is a way to allow people to die
at home with their families and with dignity. The program is designed only for
natural deaths. Any deaths related to trauma, suspicious circumstances,
overdoses or suicide still have to be investigated fully.
focuses on bringing comfort, self-respect, and tranquility to people in the
final stages of life. It is generally used for patients who are in the end
stages of a disease process where the death is expected within a generally
short period of time. Hospice believes that the end of life is not a medical
experience but rather a human experience that benefits from expert medical and
holistic support. Patients are registered with a specific hospice group who
provides care in the home or at facilities. When the person dies the family
calls the hospice group and a nurse responds to handle the releasing of the
person to their chosen mortuary. No one from this office or law enforcement
have to respond for any type of investigation. Like the pre-registration
program hospice is designed only for natural deaths. Any deaths related
to trauma, suspicious circumstances, overdoses or suicide still have to be
participates in both programs to ensure that people can die with dignity and to
lessen the emotional trauma placed on the surviving family members and friends.
Please contact the LCCO at 360-740-1376 if you have any questions about either
the pre-registration program or hospice care.