Chapter 4. Disposal Of Unclaimed Dead of California Health And Safety Code >> Division 7. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 4.
Every head of a public institution, city or county
undertaker, or state, county, or city officer having charge or
control of remains to be interred at public expense shall use due
diligence to notify the relatives of the decedent. In the absence of
any known relative of the decedent desiring to direct the disposition
of the remains in a manner other than provided in this chapter, and
upon written request of the state department that these notices are
required for a definite period specified in the request, that officer
shall notify the state department immediately after the lapse of
twenty-four hours after death, stating, whenever possible, the name,
age, sex, and cause of death of the decedent.
The person in charge of a public institution in which the
decedent was an inmate shall transmit upon request, to the state
department or to any person designated by it, a brief medical history
of the unclaimed dead for purpose of identification and permanent
record, which records shall be open to inspection by any State or
county official or prosecuting attorney.
The unclaimed dead retained by the State department for
scientific or educational purposes shall be embalmed and disposed of
in accordance with the instructions of the State department. Such
unclaimed dead shall be held for a period of thirty days by those to
whom they may have been assigned for scientific or educational
purposes, subject to claim and identification by any authenticated
relative of the decedent for purpose of interment or other
disposition in accordance with the directions of such relative.
The bodies of the unclaimed dead retained by the State
department shall be used solely for the purpose of instruction and
study in the promotion of medical, chiropractic, and embalming
education and science within the State.
All persons receiving unclaimed dead for educational purposes
shall bear all reasonable expense incurred in the preservation and
transportation of the dead and shall keep a permanent record of
bodies received, giving the identification number, the name, age,
sex, nationality, and race, if possible, together with the place of
last residence of the decedent and the source and disposition, with
dates, of the body.
It is unlawful for any person, unless specifically authorized
by law, to hold a post mortem examination of any unclaimed dead
without the express permission of the State department.
Any person authorized by law to perform post mortem
examinations shall permit, with the consent of relatives, or in the
absence of such relatives, with the consent of the State department,
any representative of the anatomical or pathological departments of
an incorporated medical, chiropractic, or osteopathic school or
college to obtain at the time of the necropsy, such material in a
recent state as may be needed for scientific purposes, if the
material is not required for the legal purposes of the State.
Whenever, through the failure of any person to notify the
State department, or promptly to deliver the body of a deceased
indigent as required by the State department, such body becomes unfit
for scientific or educational purposes, the State department shall
so certify and the remains shall be interred at the expense of those
guilty of such noncompliance.
Every person who unlawfully disposes, uses, or sells the body
of an unclaimed dead person, or who violates any provision of this
chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor.