2018 Georgia Code
Title 31 - Health
Chapter 21 - Dead Bodies
Article 2 - Disposition of Unclaimed Dead Bodies
§ 31-21-21. Delivery to board of certain unclaimed bodies
(a) All public officers of this state and their assistants and all officers and their deputies of every county, city, town, or other municipality and of every prison, county correctional institution, morgue, public hospital, health care facility, except the Central State Hospital which institution shall have authority to perform autopsies on the dead bodies of persons dying as patients therein in the discretion of the superintendent and medical staff of the institution, having control over any dead human body not dead from contagious or infectious disease and required to be buried at public expense are required to notify the board created under Code Section 31-21-20 or such person as may from time to time be designated in writing by such board for distribution or its duly authorized officer whenever any such body comes into their possession or control. Such officers shall, without fee or reward, deliver the body and allow such board and its duly authorized agents who may comply with this chapter to remove such body and to provide for its use only within this state, solely for the advancement of medical science. No such notice shall be given nor shall any such body be delivered if any person, claiming to be and satisfying the authorities in charge of the body that he or she is of any degree of kin, or is related by marriage to, or socially or otherwise connected with and interested in the deceased, shall claim the body for burial, cremation, or other proper disposition; but it shall be at once surrendered to such person or shall be buried at public expense at the request of such claimant if a relative by blood or a connection by marriage and financially unable to provide burial, cremation, or other proper disposition.
(b) A body described in subsection (a) of this Code section shall in each and every instance be held and kept by the person or persons having charge or control of it for at least 24 hours after death, before delivery to such board or its agent for distribution, during which period notice of the death of such person shall be posted at the courthouse door of the county in which such body is held.