by Jason Lamb
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A mid-state community without a morgue has no idea where to store bodies after an agreement with a local hospital ends in a few weeks.
Warren County has always relied on the River Park Hospital in McMinnville to help store its dead bodies because, like other small counties, Warren County has no morgue.
But earlier this month, the hospital announced it would no longer accept bodies beginning July 14, leaving the county scrambling to find a place to put them.
The hospital is donating a two-person refrigerator to help, but the county said it doesn't have a proper place to put it, which would include a room for family members to grieve, and maybe even counselors.
“These are things that we do not have access to,” said John Pelham, the Warren County Executive. “We have got to find a way to meet the needs of the citizens of our county in what has got to be one of the most difficult trying times someone's ever going to face.”
Tim McGill, the CEO for River Park Hospital, said it’s not that the hospital is in a fight with the county, the hospital simply said keeping the county's bodies in their hospital involves procedures that staff might not be familiar with, which is why they made the policy change.
River Park Hospital did give one exception to the new rule -- if the dead person is an organ donor, the hospital will help harvest the organs at the hospital.