This bill has been amended

Bill S4430-2015

Prohibits the release and delivery of an unclaimed body to a university, college, school or institute for dissection, until the written consent of the deceased person's spouse or next of kin is acquired

Prohibits, in a city of 1,000,000 or more, delivery of an unclaimed body to a university, college, school, institute or mortuary school, until written consent of the deceased person's next of kin is acquired.

Details

Actions

  • Mar 20, 2015: REFERRED TO HEALTH

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4430

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring the consent of the spouse or next of kin of an unclaimed deceased person prior to delivery of such person to a university, college, school or institute for dissection or autopsy

PURPOSE:

To prohibit the release and delivery of an unclaimed body to a university, college, school or institute for dissection, until the written consent of the deceased person's spouse or next of kin is acquired.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends subdivision 3 and 4 of section 4211 of the public health law to prohibit the delivery and release of a body to a university, college, school or institute for the purpose of dissection or autopsy unless the spouse or next of kin of such decedent consents in writing. It further provides that if the spouse or next of kin are not located, it shall be presumed that the deceased person and their family and next of kin object to dissection or autopsy, and the body shall be released for burial.

Section 2 is the enacting clause.

EXISTING LAW:

Current law demands the release of an unclaimed body to schools for study without the written consent from the deceased persons spouse or next of kin within 48-hours.

JUSTIFICATION:

Under existing law, the director or person in charge of any hospital, institution, morgue or other place for bodies of deceased persons not interred or otherwise finally disposed of must deliver an unclaimed body in their possession, charge, custody or control to an accredited medical college, school or institute, university and mortuary school, etc., for dissection, autopsy or study. The unclaimed bodies can be turned over as soon as 48 hours after death. However, there are many instances where a body is unclaimed because the spouse or next of kin is not aware of the death and such spouse or next of kin is not notified or located. To make matters worse, there are additional instances where the spouse or next of kin, if notified, would have objected for religious reasons to the dissection and would have taken the body for burial according to their religious customs. To avoid this tragic situation from happening in the future, this bill would require the written consent of a spouse or next of kin before an unclaimed body can be released to a university, college, school or institute for the purpose of dissection or autopsy.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

None.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None to the State.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Unknown.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This Act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to the delivery and release of bodies on and after such date.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4430 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 20, 2015 ___________
Introduced by Sen. FELDER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring the consent of the spouse or next of kin of an unclaimed deceased person prior to delivery of such person to a university, college, school or institute for dissection or autopsy THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 3 and 4 of section 4211 of the public health law, as amended by chapter 180 of the laws of 2004, are amended to read as follows: 3. No body of a deceased person shall be delivered or released to or received by, any university, college or school or institute[.]: (a) [if, within forty-eight hours after death it is desired for inter- ment or other lawful disposition by relatives and in the counties of Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Madison and Cortland, by relatives or friends,] UNTIL THE SPOUSE, AND IF HE OR SHE SHALL HAVE HAD NO SPOUSE, THE NEXT OF KIN OF THE DECEASED PERSON SHALL HAVE CONSENTED IN WRITING TO THE DELIVERY AND RELEASE OF THE BODY OF SUCH PERSON TO THE UNIVERSI- TY, COLLEGE, SCHOOL OR INSTITUTE FOR THE PURPOSE OF DISSECTION OR AUTOP- SY. IN THE EVENT THAT THE SPOUSE OR NEXT OF KIN ARE NOT LOCATED, IT SHALL BE PRESUMED THAT THE DECEASED PERSON AND HIS OR HER FAMILY AND NEXT OF KIN OBJECT TO DISSECTION AND AUTOPSY, THE BODY SHALL BE RELEASED FOR BURIAL; or[,] (b) if prior to his or her death, the person shall have expressed a desire that his or her body be interred or otherwise lawfully disposed of, is carrying an identification card upon his or her person indicating his or her opposition to the dissection or autopsy of his or her body[, or,
(c) if the deceased person is known to have a relative whose place of residence is known or can be ascertained after reasonable and diligent inquiry]
. 4. [(a)] A body of a deceased person shall not be delivered or released to, or received by a university, college, school or institute, [if within twenty-four hours after notice of death by the person having lawful possession, charge, custody or control to the next of kin, or in the counties of Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Madison and Cortland to the next of kin, or friend of the deceased person such next of kin or friend shall claim such body for interment or other lawful disposition] UNTIL THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION HAVE BEEN COMPLIED WITH. [(b) Unless a relative or friend of the deceased person shall claim the body of the deceased person within forty-eight hours after death, or within twenty-four hours after receipt of notice of death as provided in paragraph (a) of this subdivision, the next of kin, relatives or friends, as the case may be, shall be deemed to have assented to deliv- ery or release to, and receipt by the university, college, school or institute, of such dead body.] S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to the delivery and release of bodies on and after such date.

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