Relates to the commercial display of human remains; requires the department of health to implement a permit process for anyone displaying human remains for payment or other consideration; exempts remains more than 100 years old, consisting solely of human hair or teeth, part of the ordinary display at a funeral establishment or memorial, an object of religious veneration, consisting solely of bodies transported into and remaining in the state for display prior to the effective date of this section, or in the possession of a museum facility.
Ayes (16): Kruger, Stachowski, Oppenheimer, Montgomery, Duane, Parker, Stavisky, Dilan, Stewart-Cousins, Thompson, Breslin, Espada, Klein, Perkins, Valesky, Padavan
Ayes W/R (16): Krueger, Peralta, DeFrancisco, Johnson O, Volker, LaValle, Seward, Saland, Farley, Hannon, Larkin, Nozzolio, Leibell, Maziarz, Marcellino, Robach
Nays (1): Diaz
BILL NUMBER: S5169
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the public health law, in relation to the commercial display of human remains
PURPOSE : To require a permit issued by the Health Department if human remains are to be displayed for a commercial purpose such as a museum or art exhibit.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Section 1: Legislative findings. This bill is necessary to protect public health and ensure that when human remains are displayed for commercial purposes that the remains are lawfully obtained.
Section 2: Adds a new section 43-D of the Public Health Law, relating to Commercial Display of Human Remains, which includes the following:
* Definition of terms.
*Prohibits the display of human remains for commercial purposes without first obtaining a permit from the Department of Health.
*Provides that the displays of human remains that meet any of the following criteria are exempt from the permit process: more than one hundred years old; consisting solely of teeth or hair; part of a funeral or memorial service: an object of religious veneration; in the possession of a museum facility; consisting of bodies for display prior to the effective date.
*Imposes a civil penalty not exceeding ten thousand dollars for each violation.
Section 3: Effective date.
JUSTIFICATION : Recently, an exhibit which displays plasticized bodies has been touring the country. The exhibit displays bodies that have been embalmed using a special process which permits the body to retain its shape and size. The bodies are displayed with the skin and some bones removed so that the human anatomy may be observed in different stages and different positions. Although the exhibit is considered educational and interesting entertainment by many, a question has arose about the origin of these bodies. While Article 43 of the Public Health Law regulates anatomical gifts, this law did not anticipate the display of human remains for commercial purposes. Therefore, this bill is necessary to ensure that the public health is protected and that the commercial display of human remains does not create new incentives for the theft of improper procurement of such remains. This bill requires that anyone wishing to exhibit human remains for commercial purposes in New York State apply for a permit through the Department of Health which would require the applicant to show a valid authorization for possession and display of each body. This law would ensure that each body displayed for commercial purposes is legally obtained. Also, the bill would insure that regulations involving anatomical gifts have been followed.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2008: S.7000A - Passed Senate; 2008: A10571A (Kavanagh) - Health
FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE : Not yet determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall become law; provided, however, that effective immediately the commissioner of the department of health is authorized to promulgate any and all rules and regulations and take any other measures necessary to implement this act on its effective date, on or before such date.