House File 525 - Introduced HOUSE FILE 525 BY COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT (SUCCESSOR TO HF 93) A BILL FOR An Act relating to the examination, transportation, and 1 embalming of dead bodies. 2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 3 TLSB 1116HV (2) 89 js/ns
H.F. 525 Section 1. Section 331.802, subsection 1, Code 2021, is 1 amended to read as follows: 2 1. A person’s death which that affects the public interest 3 as specified in subsection 3 shall be reported to the county 4 medical examiner or the state medical examiner by the physician 5 in attendance, any law enforcement officer having knowledge of 6 the death, the embalmer funeral director , or any other person 7 present. The appropriate medical examiner shall notify the 8 city or state law enforcement agency or sheriff and take charge 9 of the body. 10 Sec. 2. Section 331.802, Code 2021, is amended by adding the 11 following new subsection: 12 NEW SUBSECTION . 9. If an autopsy is ordered under this 13 section, the county shall reimburse the funeral director for 14 all costs associated with the transportation of the body to and 15 from the facility performing the autopsy at a rate equivalent 16 to the rate of reimbursement allowed under the standard mileage 17 rate method for computation of business expenses pursuant 18 to the Internal Revenue Code at the time the transportation 19 occurs. 20 Sec. 3. Section 331.805, subsection 2, Code 2021, is amended 21 to read as follows: 22 2. It is unlawful to embalm a body when the embalmer 23 funeral director has reason to believe death occurred in 24 a manner specified in section 331.802, subsection 3 , when 25 there is evidence sufficient to arouse suspicion of a crime 26 in connection with the cause of death of the deceased, or 27 where it is the duty of a medical examiner to view the body 28 and investigate the death of the deceased person, until the 29 permission of a county medical examiner has been obtained. 30 When feasible, the body shall be released to the funeral 31 director for embalming within twenty-four hours of death. 32 Sec. 4. IMPLEMENTATION OF ACT. Section 25B.2, subsection 33 3, shall not apply to this Act. 34 EXPLANATION 35 -1- LSB 1116HV (2) 89 js/ns 1/ 2
H.F. 525 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 1 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 2 This bill relates to the examination, transportation, 3 and embalming of dead bodies. The bill requires a funeral 4 director, as opposed to an embalmer as currently required, 5 to report to the county or state medical examiner a person’s 6 death that affects the public interest. The bill prohibits 7 the embalming of a body prior to receiving consent from the 8 county medical examiner if the funeral director, as opposed to 9 an embalmer, has reason to believe the death affects the public 10 interest, when there is sufficient evidence to arouse suspicion 11 of a crime related to the cause of death, or when the medical 12 examiner has a duty to view the body and investigate the death. 13 When an autopsy is ordered under Code section 331.802 due 14 to a death affecting the public interest, the bill requires a 15 county to reimburse a funeral director for all costs associated 16 with transporting the body to and from the facility performing 17 the autopsy at a rate equivalent to the rate of reimbursement 18 allowed under the standard mileage rate method for computation 19 of business expenses pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code at 20 the time the transportation occurs. 21 The bill may include a state mandate as defined in Code 22 section 25B.3. The bill makes inapplicable Code section 25B.2, 23 subsection 3, which would relieve a political subdivision from 24 complying with a state mandate if funding for the cost of 25 the state mandate is not provided or specified. Therefore, 26 political subdivisions are required to comply with any state 27 mandate included in the bill. 28 -2- LSB 1116HV (2) 89 js/ns 2/ 2