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Death and Dying Information for Loved Ones

Funeral Planning

Preparing a funeral is a difficult and emotionally stressful process. However, with some planning, it is possible to make many of the arrangements ahead of time. According to Rhode Island law, all Rhode Islanders can designate another person to be responsible for their funeral arrangements, regardless of their relationship to that person. (more)

Living Wills

Rhode Islanders have the right to control decisions related to their medical care and to authorize others to make medical decisions for them if they become unable to do so themselves. (more)

Hospice Care

Hospice provides care to terminally-ill patients who are in the final stage of their lives or the progressive stages of a life-threatening illness. The goal of hospice care is to enable the patient to live as comfortably and as pain-free as possible, preferably in the comfort of home. (more)

Bereavement

When a loved one dies, the recovery process is slow and emotionally painful. Local bereavement organizations can help families and loved ones through the grieving process. (more)

Organ Donation

The Office of State Medical Examiners supports the donation of organs and tissue. Organ donation can help families through the grieving process and give others a second chance at life. (more)

Autopsies

If an autopsy is performed by the Medical Examiner's Office, the family should select a funeral home or crematory, which the Medical Examiner will call when the deceased is ready to be released. The Medical Examiners' Office does not have viewing areas, but the deceased may be viewed at the hospital before arriving at the office or at the funeral home. Except for evidence, the office releases any personal items to the funeral home along with the body. (more)