WSR 97-16-064



(Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers)

[Filed August 1, 1997, 11:00 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 95-22-005.

Title of Rule: Care of human remains.

Purpose: To amend WAC 308-48-030 to address the minimum standards that are necessary for the proper care of human remains.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.39.175(4).

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 18.39 RCW.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: This rule will better protect the public health and the health of funeral personnel by providing more complete guidelines for the identification and respectful care of human remains.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Jon Donnellan, Administrator, Department of Licensing, 405 Black Lake Boulevard, Olympia, (360) 586-4905.

Name of Proponent: Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: This rule will clarify procedures to be used by funeral service personnel in identifying and caring for human remains by:

Requiring them to establish identity of the remains;

Record and maintain information relating to the human remains;

Requiring them to place an identification bracelet on the ankle of the remains;

Follow OSHA, WSHA, and health regulations when handling human remains;

Determine who has the right to control disposition of the remains;

Not separate any organs, viscera or appendages of human remains from other portions of the remains;

Provide refrigerated holding of unembalmed human remains;

Maintain the separateness and integrity of each human remain.

This rule will reduce the possibility of misidentification of human remains and will provide funeral service personnel with more definitive guidelines to follow while handling human remains.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: This rule will provide further guidelines in the areas specified in Explanation of Rule above where existing rules are deficient.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers gave serious consideration to the economic impacts of this rule and were unanimous that the rule has no economic impact because all existing funeral homes are already fully in compliance with the new sections of the rule except for the identification bracelet requirement and determined there are no new costs except the minor costs associated with the identification bracelet. The rule reflects the current standards that exist in the profession that needed to be placed in rule so that these standards will continue to exist for the benefit of the public.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. Department of Licensing is exempt from this statute.

Hearing Location: Holiday Inn (Ballroom "C"), 800 Rainier Avenue South, Renton, WA 98055, (425) 226-7700, on September 18, 1997, at 9:30 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jon Donnellan by telephone, TDD (360) 586-2788, or (360) 586-4905.

Submit Written Comments to: Jon Donnellan, Administrator, Funeral and Cemetery Unit, P.O. Box 9012, Olympia, WA 98507-9012, (360) 586-4905, FAX (360) 664-2550, by September 11, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: September 18, 1997.

August 1, 1997

Jon Donnellan


AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order PM 716, filed 3/28/88)

WAC 308-48-030 ((Restrictions.)) Care of human remains. (1) ((Licensees in all their licensed activities, shall)) Funeral establishments, funeral directors, embalmers, apprentices, employees or agents while providing for the care and handling of human remains shall:

(a) Comply with all applicable Washington state laws, rules and regulations related to health or the handling ((or disposal)), transportation or disposition of human remains.

(((2) No licensee, apprentice, employee or agent of the licensee, in handling a dead body, shall perform any unnecessary act which will tend to affect adversely the dignity or the respectful and reverential handling and burial or other customary disposal of the dead.

(3))) (b) Not perform any act which will tend to affect adversely the dignity, individual integrity or the respectful and reverential handling and burial or other customary disposition of human remains.

(c) Establish the identity of the human remains.

(d) Place an identification bracelet on the ankle of the remains. If it is not possible to place the identification bracelet on the ankle, it should be placed on the arm of the remains or in the case of a remains that must be placed in a heavy duty pouch due to the condition of the remains, an identification bracelet should be placed inside the pouch and a second bracelet attached to the exterior of the pouch.

(e) Determine who is the individual or individuals that has/have the right to control the disposition of the human remains and follow the directions of that/those individual(s).

(f) Record and maintain the following information:

(i) Name of deceased;

(ii) Date of death;

(iii) Place of death;

(iv) Name and relationship of person(s) having the right to control the disposition;

(v) Date and time of receipt of remains;

(vi) Date and time of refrigeration and/or embalming;

(vii) Method, date and location of disposition.

(g) Not separate any organs, viscera or appendages of a human remains from any other portion of the remains for a separate or different disposition. The entire human remains that the funeral establishment has received and has possession of must be maintained and disposed of as one entity.

(h) Provide refrigerated holding of a human remains for which embalming has not been authorized.

(2) The care and preparation for burial or other disposition of all human ((dead bodies)) remains shall be private. No one shall be allowed in the embalming or preparation rooms while a ((dead body)) human remains is being embalmed or during the course of an autopsy except the licensee, his authorized employees, and public officials in the discharge of their duties. This rule shall not apply to duly authorized ((doctors and nurses)) medical personnel employed in a case, nor to members of the immediate family of the deceased or those authorized to be present by the decedent's next of kin.

(((4))) (3) Every licensee shall provide a written itemization of any property, money, jewelry, possessions or other items of significant value found on a ((body)) human remains in the licensee's care, custody or control to the decedent's next of kin or the proper authorities.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.39.157(4) [18.39.175(4)]. 88-08-015 (Order PM 716), 308-48-030, filed 3/28/88. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.39.175. 83-04-020 (Order PL 419), 308-48-030, filed 1/26/83; Rule 3, filed 9/17/64.]

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office