The morgue is the place where corpses are placed before being buried or permanently incinerated. In other words, it’s a corpse deposit .
All unidentified bodies are transported to a morgue and there remain awaiting recognition by a family member.
In addition, these dependencies are used when the identity of the corpse is known, but it is necessary to perform an autopsy on the corpse to determine the causes of death. As a general criterion, morgues are located in hospitals or on cemetery grounds.
From a historical point of view, the precedent of today’s morgues is found in the civilization of Ancient Egypt, where corpses were already manipulated to be transformed into mummies in the so-called houses of death.
Types of morgues and particularities
Although this type of enclosure is used as a warehouse for corpses for autopsies, not all of them have the same purpose, as some are related to a judicial process and others have a strictly clinical interest.
Every morgue must have refrigeration equipment so that corpses do not decompose and are kept at a suitable temperature . On the other hand, these establishments use strict hygiene criteria to avoid possible infections and, at the same time, establish a signaling system to correctly identify corpses.
Distinction between morgue and wake
Although in both establishments there are deceased people, these are different dependencies. The purpose of a wake is to provide a space to watch over the deceased, while the morgue is simply a deposit for corpses and there is no kind of farewell inside.
An analysis of the etymological evolution of the term
The word morgue comes from the French and in its origin was used to refer to the harsh and unfriendly character of an individual .
Over time, the morgue became the place where prisoners remained on hold before being recognized by prison guards.
Finally, its ultimate meaning was incorporated and the morgue became a facility designed to guard corpses that were waiting to be recognized by a relative or close person .