HB 618 Modifies provisions of law regarding the disposition of deceased human remains and the electronic vital records system
Sponsor: Wasson
LR Number: 1456S.05T Fiscal Notes
Committee: Financial and Governmental Organizations and Elections
Last Action: 9/16/2015 - Legislature voted to override Governor's veto Journal Page: H31
Title: SCS HCS HB 618 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2015
House Handler: Fraker

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Current Bill Summary


SCS/HCS/HB 618 - This act adds advanced practice registered nurses, assistant physicians, and physician assistants to specified phases of the death certification process, including data provision, certification of death, and authorization for the final disposition of the decedent's body.

The funeral director or person in charge of final disposition of the body shall enter into the electronic death registration system personal data from the next of kin, medical certification if so designated by the person responsible for such certification, and any other information or data as required.

The person authorized to complete the medical certification may designate another to enter the medical certification information into the electronic death registration system if the authorized person has signed a statement stating the cause of death.

Any person completing the medical certification or entering data into the electronic death registration system shall be immune from civil liability for such certification completion, data, entry, or determination of cause of death, unless such person acts with gross negligence or willful misconduct.

The act states that the Department of Health and Senior Services must notify physicians, physician assistants, assistant physicians, and advanced practice registered nurses of the requirements provided in the act regarding the electronic vital records system.

By August 30, 2015, the Division of Community and Public Health shall create a working group to evaluate the electronic vital records system, develop recommendations, and must report such findings to the General Assembly by January 1, 2016.

These provisions are substantially similar to provisions in HCS/SS/SCS/SB 517 (2015) and HCS/HB 1113 (2015), and identical to provisions contained in HCS/SCS/SB 107 (2015).

This act provides that if a funeral director has knowledge that there are multiple people who have equal priority to choose and control the final disposition of a dead human body and who do not agree on the disposition, then the decision of the majority of the people with equal priority shall control the disposition.

The act also states that a person who owns a cemetery is authorized to disinter an individual's remains and rebury or reinter the remains at another location pursuant to written instructions signed and acknowledged by a person who was the next-of kin, as defined in statute, at the time of death. If the next-of-kin at the time of death is no longer living then a majority of certain adult members, as specified in statute, may authorize the disinterment.

Currently, cemetery owners are not liable to the deceased person's family for a disinterment, relocation or delivery of deceased human remains performed pursuant to statute. This act provides that cemetery owners, cemetery operators, funeral directors, funeral establishment or any other entity involved in the process shall not be liable in such situations.

These provisions are identical to provisions contained in HCS/SS/SB 416 (2015), and substantially similar to provisions in HCS/SCS/SB 107 (2015).

JESSI BAKER