We usually encouraged people to wait. Oftentimes they need time to process the death, make arrangements for a service or funeral, and gather a support network. I work in an out of hospital environment (independent birth center), so if they want to have the baby immediately, then we need time to make arrangements with someone for a D&C, since we can't do that here.
We also spend alot of time discussing their birth and arrangements for the baby. We share some of the experiences that others have had; it is such a hard time, we really want to enable them to make it as meaningful and healing as possible. It takes alot of time and intensive support, something that a traditional doctor's office doesn't have the intimate ability to offer. We are also lucky enough to be able to offer home, birth center, or hospital birth to these mamas.
There are risks with a D&C, and it is not something entered into lightly. We do labwork to watch the mother's WBC and DDimer values; usually nature will takes it's course, sometimes we use cytotec. I have been there four + years; I have never seen a mama who wants an immediate birth. I have also never seen a mama develop complications from waiting. We don't have the traditional mamas, though; our mothers are already doing something outside of the mainstream, by having an out of hospital birth, so that probably skews our experiences. We have had mamas wait almost two weeks; we have had mamas choose cytotec within 24 hours of discovering the death. Many mamas have chosen to take their babies home; it was important to them to have a memory of their infant in their house, and to have time to say goodbye. We've had parents leave their infants at the birth center, and we have taken care of arrangements. My experience is with infants between 12 weeks and 28 weeks gestation.
I'm sorry about your friend's loss. She's lucky to have such a supportive friend.