After class I approached the prof and asked if I could reschedule the final -- earlier -- and was somewhat shocked by his incredulous reaction. I think after a couple of beats he realized I wanted to take it earlier not later and therefore relented.
The measured death rate before exams should be compared to the expected death rate. How old is the average student, how old is their average grandma, and how many women from that period are expected to die at that age, multiplied by the fraction of the year taken up by the exam period.
That said, I had a freak accident in grad school and had a professor who expected me to call into his class from pre-op! (i.e. There are some actual asshole professors!)
 Edited to add: She implemented this after the same student for the third time claimed a grandmother had died right before an exam!
I think this is why a few professors end up with a "drop your worst x test scores, but no rescheduling" policy.
I managed to push it aside and got good grades for the exams themselves, but I felt so guilty in the weeks and months that followed that I made a real mess of the next semester (to the point that I simply had to withdraw from all my papers and take a break).
Not sure what I would do if I met/knew someone faking a death for those sort of reasons...