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To all passing souls from 2017-2018

Bronx Vigil A vigil was held in honour of Ghanaians who died in the Bronx fire

Sat, 6 Jan 2018 Source: Stephen Quaye

Members of the Ghanaian community in foreign destinations who have received the shock of their lives following the passing souls of our brothers and sisters in United States of America [U.S.A], Toronto-Canada and in Accra, Ghana, should send their condolences to the bereaved families and comfort the children in this painful moment.

The Ghanaian community should be reminded that, “Coroners dislike you telling the public someone committed suicide before conducting their investigations to establish the cause of death”.

Even if one has evidence or cause of death, he has to report to the police for investigation and findings released to the court and the deceased family.

Contrary to this, suspected persons these days quickly take to social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp and post unsubstantiated cause or details of death when someone passes away which is not acceptable as the law frowns on such criminal act.

DEATH.

According to the William Webster’s dictionary, death is simply defined as the action or fact of dying or being killed, the end of life of a person. In other words, the removing of human being from the earth or non-existence of a person in the world either by fair or foul means or either by natural way or personal way.

The medical practitioners also describes death as the, “irreversible cessation of all vital functions especially as indicated by permanent stoppage of the heart, respiratory when the brain activity come to an end of life”. New Science magazine in 2007, pondered the subject in great depth as it discussed the various ways of meeting ones end, from being burned alive to drowning and decapitation.

Experts took their evidences from advance medical sciences and accounts from lucky survivors from the ten [10] methods of death which are drowning, heart attack, bleeding to death, fire, and decapitation. The rest are, electrocution, fall from a height, hanging. Lethal injection and explosive decompression among others.

From the ending of the year 2017 to the early first two days of this year 2018, Ghanaians both in diaspora and in Ghana have been living in grief and shock as the news of series of deaths sunk into their communities.

The deaths which shocked almost all and left the Ghanaian communities in grief was the one that left it devastated over the number of fellow nationals who perished in the fire outbreak in New York-America. So far six Ghanaians were confirmed dead in Bronx fire in New York.

Another shock news was the reported passing soul of Mr. Samue Adjei Yeboah of Toronto-Canada which has left the Ghanaian community devastated since the ushering in of the year 2018.

As if the devil was not tired of using his pitchfork in punching to create more shocks and griefs through deaths, he succeeded in striking an ace journalist Alaji Bature dead in Accra-Ghana on January 5, 2018.

GRIEF AND SHOCK.

When someone passes away, both friends and loved ones gather around the bereaved children and the family to sympathize and comfort them as we express our condolences for the loss of their loved one who has exited life on earth.

That solemn practice of comforting and sympathizing with the bereaved family, is now overtaken by the common practice of taking to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to spread falsehood of cause of death, post gory pictures of deceased persons to further worsen the grieving and shocking moments of bereaved families which is a crime.

THE LAW. The Editors Code and Broadcasting Code set out ethical standards to minimize media intrusion into bereaved people’s grief or shock such as the deaths in New York-America, Toronto-Canada and Accra, Ghana and other parts of the world.

Editor’s code and Broadcasting code also says that excessive detail about suicide methods such as hanging, falling from a height, poisoning and more should not be published-therefore preventing all from spreading cause of death of our lost ones without clearance from Coroner’s to do so.

As a trained journalist, let me remind members of the Ghanaian communities both in Ghana and in diaspora as well as readers in general about prohibitions an intrusion into grief and shock such as the death of our brothers and sisters in New York, Toronto and Accra.

Clause [4] four [intrusion into grief and shock] Editors code says: “In cases involving personal grief or shock enquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and publication such as those trending on social media, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp handled sensitively.

MATERIALS ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

People are routinely searching for photos and details or cause of death of our sisters and brothers who passed away with the worse of it all posting gory pictures of their hanging, burnt or sorry motionless bodies on social media that has not been issued by their bereaved families as Coroner’s are still investigating their cause of death.

Again, let Ghanaians and the general readers alike be reminded that posting gory photos or any other material of the passing soul without clearance by the family constitute breach of human rights, copy rights as it also be an intrusion into privacy because the bereaved family are in severe pain, shock and are not in consent of such criminal acts.

Let us all do the right thing by expressing our condolences to the bereaved family, comfort the children and leave the rest for Coroner’s to investigate and report their findings to the law courts and bereaved families. Until then, let us all say SORRY FOR THE LOST to their respective families who have lost their loved ones recently and keep quiet. End.

Columnist: Stephen Quaye