2006 Alabama Code - Section 34-13-121 — Cremation procedures; authorization; attestation of identity; records.

(a) Human remains shall not be cremated within 24 hours after the time of death, unless death was a result of an infectious, contagious, or communicable disease and unless the disease is verified and the time requirement waived by a medical examiner, county health director, county coroner, or attending physician where the death occurred.

(b) A cremation authorization form prescribed by the board shall be signed by the authorizing agent and must accompany any request for cremation. A copy of the cremation authorization shall be presented with the body to the crematory before any cremation process may be initiated.

(c) It shall be disclosed to the family member serving as the authorizing agent that he or she, or his or her designee, may witness the transportation of the human remains to be cremated to the crematory. Every funeral establishment performing cremation services that prohibits relatives or the responsible party from viewing the cremation process shall disclose this fact in writing to the person or persons entitled to custody of the remains prior to the signing of any contract.

(d) An authorizing agent has the duty to inform the funeral director of the presence of a pacemaker or other potentially hazardous implant, including any toxic or explosive-type sealed implants in the human remains. The funeral director shall be responsible for ensuring that all necessary steps have been taken to remove the pacemaker before delivering the human remains to the crematory. Should the cremationist discover the presence of a pacemaker or other hazardous implants in the human remains, the cremationist shall arrange for the removal of the pacemaker or other hazardous implant.

(e) The simultaneous cremation of the human remains of more than one person within the same retort, without the prior written consent of the authorizing agent, is prohibited. It is hereby the declared intent of this subsection that establishments performing cremations in accordance with this chapter may cremate only dead human remains.

(f) Upon the completion of each cremation, and insofar as is practicable, all of the recoverable residue of the cremation process shall be removed from the retort and placed in a separate container and may not be commingled with cremated remains of another person nor shall cremated remains of a dead human be divided or separated without the prior written consent of the authorizing agent.

(g) Each funeral establishment which offers or performs cremations shall maintain an identification system that ensures its ability to identify the human remains in its possession throughout all phases of the cremation process. Upon completion of the process, the cremationist must attest to the identity of the cremated remains, and the date, time, and place the cremation process occurred on a form issued by the board. The form shall accompany the human remains in all phases of transportation, cremation, and return of cremated remains.

(h) Each funeral establishment and cremationist which offers or performs cremations shall maintain a record of all cremations performed, which shall include the name of the decedent, the date of death, the date and time of the cremation, the signature of the cremationist performing the cremation, a copy of the authorization for cremation, a copy of the affidavit attesting to the cremation, and, if the cremation is performed for any other funeral establishment or entity, the identity of this establishment or entity.

(i) Human remains must be delivered to a crematory in a combustible cremation container. Human remains shall not be removed from the cremation container and the cremation container shall be cremated with the human remains, unless the authorizing agent has been informed in writing that the crematory does not cremate metal containers.

(Act 2002-239, p. 498, § 3.)

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