(a) the reduction of the body of a deceased person to its essential elements by combustion. But a morgue that has contracted for the shipment of the cremated remains of a corpse is liable for negligence if the cremated remains of a body are lost due to the morgue`s negligence. When law enforcement deals with dead bodies, they always call the coroner, who is a certified medical practitioner trained in forensic science. The MI will attempt to find the cause of death by examining the body tissues, organs and cells of the deceased. They may even have to examine evidence found at the crime scene and testify in court. Two main areas of the law apply to the dead: (1) disposal of corpses; and (2) crimes against corpses. In both cases, the laws are a tangle of competing rights that often play the wishes of the deceased against the wishes of their survivors against the police power of the state. Disputes range from fights over the removal of semen from a corpse to whether sexual intercourse with a corpse constitutes rape. (In most states, this is not the case unless you thought the body was alive while you were doing it.) (The law is like this.) The Crocker Court declared a quasi-ownership right in Quote Lawyer v. Kernodle, 721 F.2d 632 (8th Cir. 1983): “In the sense that the word `property` is commonly used, the one whose duty becomes to bury a deceased person has no right of ownership over the body; But in the broadest sense of the term, he has a so-called “quasi-property right,” which gives him the right to own and control the body for the sole purpose of a decent burial. If the deceased leaves behind a widow, he or she has this right.
In Dobson v. North Tyneside Health Authority , the Court of Appeal found that personal representatives have the right to keep and possess the body of the deceased until properly disposed of. This case highlights the importance of writing a will, carefully selecting executors, and including provisions for funeral wishes. Although testamentary instructions for disposing of one`s own body are not binding, such provisions are extremely useful in helping those who decide on funeral arrangements. Technically, your body parts and organs do not belong to you. Did you know that when you die, the state can legally harvest your organs and is not required to inform your family? This happened when Jesse Shipley died in a car accident in 2005. He was autopsied and buried, but a few months later, his former classmates were on a trip to the morgue and saw a jar labeled “Jesse Shipley” that preserved his brain in chemicals. Funeral directors usually wash and preserve corpses to prepare them for burial or cremation. They are responsible for recovering the deceased, preparing his body and finally returning it to his relatives and relatives. Laws vary from state to state, but here are some legal requirements under which funeral homes operate: As Scheper-Hughes` comments show, the number and nature of death rituals seem to be constantly increasing. As far as paleoanthropologists can tell, the practice of burying the dead as a communal custom began about 100,000 years ago in places like Qafzeh, Israel. Our Neanderthal cousins also sometimes buried their dead, for example in Shanidar, Iraq, about 50,000 years ago.
Alternatively, there are organizations that promote community parks where corpses are brought back to earth as quickly as possible, without fuss or fanfare, without the use of toxic embalming fluids, without coffins and the smallest walking markers or no markers at all. Some imagine community gardens and parks, others a nature reserve, but all want the dead to share space with the living, so that nature trails, concerts, children`s parks can use the space where bodies are buried. Why can`t you cryogenically freeze your grandmother? Well, in some states you can. But you can`t do what you want with your dead because a very long legal tradition rejects the idea that family members own the remains of their loved ones. This rule stems from the 17th century British belief that human souls have the right to recover their bodies on Resurrection Day, so they cannot transfer these rights to their descendants. U.S. courts still refuse to determine ownership of the body of the deceased, so crimes against corpses are largely treated with leniency. The provision of the Model Penal Code relating to the abuse of a corpse makes it only an offence and states: “[T]he severe penalties clearly seem exaggerated in view of the fact that the damage involved is only an outrage of sensitivity. In other words, the law allows survivors to recover for emotional harm and trauma, but not for damage to the dead as property. Families whose loved ones were found in Georgia describe the wound and horror of the fraudulent cremations (and the discovery that they have an urn full of burnt wood chips on their coats) as worse than a second death. While it is true that these survivors suffer nothing worse than a lack of closure, and even if the dead no longer care much, one measure of any civilized society is how they treat their dead.
In Sophocles` Antigone, the main character challenges the king and gives her brother a decent burial because it is a right that is ultimately protected, as she puts it, “by the gods.” Antigone understood, and we should too, that one should always be kind to the dead. After all, the next dead person you meet might just be yourself. As you can imagine, police officers and other law enforcement officers encounter dead bodies in their work far more often than average. And, of course, there are extensive procedures that law enforcement officials must follow when they find a deceased person. In general, there are 3 steps an official would take: The Florida Supreme Court thoroughly investigated this issue in 2001 and concluded that it was a type of property right. The court stated: “Based on these legal rights of the next of kin over the bodies of their deceased relatives, as well as case law on the subject, we conclude that in Florida there is a legitimate right of the next of kin to possession of the remains of a deceased person for burial or other legal provision. We also consider that the reference to interest as a “legitimate claim” most accurately describes the nature of the interest. Crocker v. Pleasant, 778 So. 2d 978 (fla.
2001). The court previously stated in the notice: “This conclusion is consistent with the approach of other courts that have found this right to be a legitimate claim or quasi-property interest.” The performance of certain autopsies or other autopsies is subject to federal regulation. According to some laws, autopsies or other autopsies on the body of a deceased patient may be carried out only on the instruction of the competent official and only with the consent of the authorized person. In addition, documents containing consent must be part of the clinical record. 42 CFR 35.16 In general, the legal rights of next of kin include: the right to possess remains immediately for burial, the right to object to excavation, the right to object to autopsy or organ donation, and the right to claim damages for bodily mutilation. Who counts as the next of kin? In general, common law and state laws favour spouses in determining what will happen to the deceased. If there is no spouse, the decision-making power is governed by the same rules of consanguinity as those that apply to the succession. Legal disputes have arisen in which same-sex partners or unmarried lovers are excluded from these decisions. There are certain people who are required by law to take care of your body when you die, especially the hospital where you die. The coroner may also order that a body be kept until the examination is completed.
However, the primary obligation to dispose of a dead body rests with the personal representative or executors. If there is no one capable of disposing of the body (according to the strict order of claims according to the rules of intestate succession), the municipality must dispose of it. Cremated remains that do not pose a health risk may be buried or walled up in memorials or cemeteries, or they may be legally preserved by relatives or distributed in different ways and places. Since a crematorium does not conduct “burials” within the meaning of a statute governing the operation of the cemetery, it is not a cemetery society or association. Nevertheless, the regulation of crematoria is the responsibility of the municipality and appropriate operating restrictions are in place. Although the common law does not consider corpses to be property, the courts have treated them in a quasi-property context over the centuries. The right to the remains of deceased relatives for the purpose of proper burial has long been recognized as a legal right. The next of kin surviving shall have the right to immediately take possession of the body of a deceased person for preservation and burial purposes, and damages shall be awarded to any person who unlawfully infringes this right or improperly manipulates the body of the deceased. This right, known as the common law right to burial, continues to be recognized by the courts despite the passage of several hundred years. Correa v.
Maimonides Medical Ctr., 165 Misc. 2d 614 (N.Y. Sup.