S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
2009-2010 Regular Sessions
I N S E N A T E
April 27, 2009
Introduced by Sen. PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Health
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to the commercial
display of human remains
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature finds and declares
1. Article 43 of the public health law requires any donor and speci-
fied authorized individuals to authorize the use of anatomical gifts for
transplantation, therapy, research, and education purposes.
2. Every city, county, or state official responsible for the remains
of unclaimed dead bodies is required to use due diligence to notify the
relatives of the decedent.
3. The public display of human remains must be regulated to protect
individual bodily integrity, as well as the social and cultural values
of the state.
4. It is the intent of the legislature to require persons who partic-
ipate in the public display of human remains for commercial purposes to
provide evidence of informed consent from the decedent or relatives of
all humans whose remains are put on display, and to provide for the
continued use of human remains in the educational, medical, and scien-
tific communities to promote human health and safety.
S 2. The public health law is amended by adding a new article 43-D to
read as follows:
COMMERCIAL DISPLAY OF HUMAN REMAINS
SECTION 4380. DEFINITIONS.
4381. COMMERCIAL DISPLAY OF HUMAN REMAINS.
S 4380. DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS ARTICLE, THE FOLLOWING TERMS
SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
1. "COMMERCIAL PURPOSES" MEANS EITHER:
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
S. 5169 2
(A) A DISPLAY FOR WHICH THE PUBLIC IS CHARGED A FEE OR OTHER CONSIDER-
ATION AS A CONDITION OF VIEWING; OR
(B) A DISPLAY FOR WHICH AN EXHIBITOR ACCEPTS PAYMENT OR OTHER CONSID-
2. "EXHIBITOR" MEANS A PERSON OR ENTITY WHO SHOWS OR PUTS ON, OR
CONTRACTS TO SHOW OR PUT ON, A TEMPORARY PUBLIC DISPLAY OF HUMAN
3. "MUSEUM FACILITY" MEANS A PUBLIC OR PRIVATE NONPROFIT INSTITUTION
THAT IS ACCREDITED THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF MUSEUMS OR IS A PART OF
AN ACCREDITED COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY, AND THAT IS ORGANIZED ON A PERMA-
NENT BASIS FOR ESSENTIALLY EDUCATIONAL OR AESTHETIC PURPOSES AND THAT
OWNS OR USES TANGIBLE OBJECTS, CARES FOR THOSE OBJECTS, AND EXHIBITS
THEM TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC ON A REGULAR BASIS.
S 4381. COMMERCIAL DISPLAY OF HUMAN REMAINS. 1. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN
SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION, A PERSON SHALL NOT DISPLAY HUMAN
REMAINS TO THE PUBLIC FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES WITHOUT FIRST OBTAINING A
PERMIT ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT AS REQUIRED BY SECTION FORTY-THREE
HUNDRED EIGHTY-TWO OF THIS ARTICLE.
2. SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO A DISPLAY OF
HUMAN REMAINS THAT IS ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
(A) MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD;
(B) CONSISTING SOLELY OF HUMAN TEETH OR HAIR;
(C) PART OF THE ORDINARY DISPLAY OR VIEWING OF THE DECEASED AT A
FUNERAL ESTABLISHMENT OR PART OF A SIMILAR FUNERAL OR MEMORIAL SERVICE;
(D) AN OBJECT OF RELIGIOUS VENERATION;
(E) CONSISTING SOLELY OF BODIES TRANSPORTED INTO AND REMAINING IN THE
STATE FOR DISPLAY PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION; OR
(F) IN THE POSSESSION OF A MUSEUM FACILITY.
HOWEVER, IF THE MUSEUM FACILITY PAID OR OFFERED OTHER CONSIDERATION TO
AN EXHIBITOR TO DISPLAY THE REMAINS, AND THE REMAINS ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM
THIS SECTION PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPHS (A) THROUGH (D) OF THIS SUBDIVISION,
THE EXHIBITOR SHALL BE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN A PERMIT PURSUANT TO SECTION
FORTY-THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY-TWO OF THIS ARTICLE.
3. ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS SECTION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A CIVIL
PENALTY OF AN AMOUNT THAT DOES NOT EXCEED TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR EACH
S 4382. PERMIT. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ESTABLISH A PERMIT PROGRAM UNDER
THIS ARTICLE. A PERMIT MAY BE ISSUED TO ANY PERSON FOR THE PURPOSE
DESCRIBED IN SECTION FORTY-THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY-ONE OF THIS ARTICLE ONLY
UPON A DETERMINATION BY THE DEPARTMENT THAT THE PERSON HAS PROVIDED
VALID WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION TO DISPLAY HUMAN REMAINS FOR CONSIDERATION
FROM ANY OF THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS:
1. THE DECEDENT, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, AUTHORIZATION GIVEN BY
2. ANY PERSON AUTHORIZED TO MAKE AN ANATOMICAL GIFT UNDER ARTICLE
FORTY-THREE OF THIS CHAPTER.
S 4383. APPLICATION. NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO
APPLY TO THE UTILIZATION OF HUMAN REMAINS IN A MANNER THAT MEETS THE
PURPOSES SET FORTH IN ARTICLE FORTY-THREE OF THIS CHAPTER RELATING TO
S 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become a law. Effective immediately the commissioner of the depart-
ment of health is authorized to promulgate any and all rules and regu-
lations and take any other measures necessary to implement this act on
its effective date, on or before such date.