Both institutes of legal medicine and forensic sciences (IMLCF) canaries, located one in Tenerife and another in Gran Canariathey did last year 1,715 autopsiesmost of them in the 24 hours following the death, according to the data provided by their corresponding addresses and that the Minister of Public Administrations, Justice and Security, Julio Perez, as head of both, has recently made public.
In the specific case of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 766 autopsies were carried out, of which 694 were carried out in Tenerife; 57, in La Palma; 12, in La Gomera; and 3, in El Hierro. In addition, in 2022, until July 11, 409 autopsies had been carried out: 377, in Tenerife; 23, in La Palma; 6, in La Gomera; and 3, in El Hierro.
While, in the province of Las Palmas, last year 949 necropsies were carried out, corresponding 761 to Gran Canaria; 95, to Lancelot; and 93, to Fuerteventura. In the time elapsed until July 11, 2022, a total of 502 had been practiced: 387, in Gran Canaria; 62, in Lanzarote; and 53, in Fuerteventura.
Julio Pérez explained that on all the islands there are forensic doctors available to the judicial bodies, so the service is covered at all times. Likewise, it has indicated that the examination of the deceased requires the participation of an autopsy assistant, who travels, as soon as possible – usually the day after his presence is requested – from the IMLCF headquarters in Tenerife or from the IMLCF in Gran Canaria, depending on the island.
As established in the IV Single Collective Agreement for the workforce of the General State Administration, approved in 2019, to perform the work of autopsy assistant, you must be in possession of the Higher Level Vocational Training title of Technical Assistant Superior in Pathological Anatomy and Cytology.
The Minister of Public Administrations, Justice and Security has recalled that, both in 2021 and 2022, in the province of Las Palmas Two backup autopsy assistants have been hiredwith the aim that all contingencies are covered.
In this sense, he has highlighted that in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife there are no delays in the examination of the deceased and that in the province of Las Palmas specific problems may have arisen circumstantially on some occasion, delaying one or two more days, either because of the number of autopsies at the Gran Canaria headquarters or due to transportation problems, especially during vacation periods.
Lastly, he has commented that the delivery of the body to the family does not take place until authorized by the investigating judge of the procedure in question and that, for various reasons –lack of identification, doubts about the causes or circumstances of death, practice of police or judicial proceedings…– may be delayed.