The ministry seems to use the Dementor's Kiss as a last and ultimate punishment for its criminals, like Sirius Black and to a certain extent, Barty Crouch Jr (even if his death was unsanctioned). If this method of "execution" is used, then, what happens to the body of the victim? I always wondered what happened to Crouch after he was kissed.

It is stated that a person still exists without a soul, possibly in a coma like state. What does the ministry do with these living but "empty shells"? Are they kept in a ward at St Mungos? (In which case that would use up space and money) Or do they kill the body? If they did the latter, why bot kill them in the first place instead of taking away their soul?

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    Fairly sure the answer is “we don’t know”. No canon description is given of what happens to Crouch Jr. after he’s kissed, and he’s the only canon instance of it happening.
    – alexwlchan
    Aug 23, 2014 at 6:17
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    The Department of Mysteries had a whole room dedicated to the study of death (the chamber with the veil at the centre). What better body to experiment on than one that's already dead. They might also have a play with time too - see if they can reverse the effects of the kiss prior to pushing him through the veil. Even if it's not entirely ethical, I can't see the Department of Mysteries failing to find a way of getting rid of the body.
    – niemiro
    Sep 1, 2014 at 13:50
  • possible duplicate of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/56049/…
    – ava
    Mar 17, 2021 at 14:09

3 Answers 3


Well, as JKR said,

"The use of Dementors was always a mark of the underlying corruption of the Ministry, as Dumbledore constantly maintained."

Since nobody becomes corrupt just for the hell of it, it's fair to assume there was some self-interest for the Ministry in using Dementors. It does seem likely that it would have something to do with the bodies left behind. There is no clear info as to what was done with the bodies. If they didn't have magic, organ donation would probably be a good guess. However, they seem to be able to mend that stuff using spells and potions (Harry regrows his forearm bones in one of the books that way). Therefore, they are more likely to have used the bodies either as automatons for slave labor, or for experimenting in the effects of potentially deadly spells on the human body. Since they seem to have plenty of labor force already (house elves and goblins and such), as well as the ability to magically make inanimate objects work on their own, slave labor seems unlikely.

So, I would say, the answer is probably experimental magic.

    – Suman Roy
    Aug 26, 2014 at 4:48

The Dementor's Kiss drives a person into a persistent vegetative state. Given that the victim of this punishment would then require round-the-clock medical care this presumably would require them to be moved to the wizarding world's premier hospital, St Mungos.

This facility is known to have a locked ward (the Janus Thickey Ward) which would seem ideal for holding prisoners who've been permanently cursed.

The Janus Thickey Ward was a ward located in St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, and usually kept locked to prevent the patients from wandering about. The ward housed residents whose minds had been permanently been affected by spells - HP Wiki

In the specific case of Barty Crouch Jr, JKR's old website would seem to indicate that he died some time before the events of Deathly Hallows. There's no record of his place of death.


Being no longer dangerous, their body would be turned over to relatives for their care, and while some might tend them at home, I imagine most would place them permanantly in St. Mongos.

Those without family would probably be sent straight there, as charity patients. There isn't any mention of patient payment at St. Mungos, and some in the Janus Thickey Ward seem to have no realtives, and means to pay.

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