After a three-day memorial service, a family in China found out that they didn't bury their mother, who they thought was dead. As the "South China Morning Post" (SCMP) reports, the treating hospital only noticed after several days that it was not the 87-year-old Ms. Yin who had died, but a much younger woman.
According to the report, Yin was admitted to the hospital in Nanning, Guangxi Autonomous Region, in late December due to an unspecified emergency. At the same time, a 73-year-old from the same retirement home was taken to the hospital. The hospital stated that the identities were confused. The 73-year-old later died.
The strange thing about the story is that Ms. Yin's family didn't notice the mix-up either. According to the report, the five children and another relative went to the hospital shortly after the death for identification. They were shocked, confused and in a hurry to see an elderly woman with a hat on her head, one of the relatives told the SCMP. The name on the bed and the ribbon on the woman's wrist were also checked. After the body was taken to the home village, it was placed in a wooden coffin and the traditional burial celebrations began. Face has now been lost towards the villagers, Chen told the newspaper, leaving the family angry and embarrassed. "The villagers ask us how it all happened. From their point of view, we held a religious rite for three days and two nights for someone from outside, and then we buried them in the family grave."
Even if the hospital admits the mix-up, it sees the family as partly to blame. "They confirmed the identity of the deceased, after which they spent several dozen minutes cleaning and scrubbing the body of the deceased. How is it possible that they did not realize that this was not their own mother ?" asks a hospital worker.
The family and the hospital are currently negotiating compensation, and the local health authority is investigating. The authority is also in exchange with the family of the 73-year-old to decide how to deal with the remains of her that have already been buried.