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Turner Proposes Funeral Home Reforms

In response to a Carlinville funeral home’s insufficient handling of human remains, State Senator Doris Turner recently introduced legislation that would put procedures and protocols in place to protect families who have lost a loved one.

Senate Bill 2643 as proposed, would require the death care industry in the state, as well as state regulators, to implement a mandatory unique identification tagging system for all human remains. It also would establish a chain of custody system that tracks the human remains of a deceased individual whose death occurred in the state from death to final disposition if the final disposition is in Illinois.

“This proposed legislation will help protect our loved and lost. It will help assure the proper identification and treatment of someone after death,” said Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon. “This will also help prevent the victimization of families who are grieving the loss of someone they love, all while giving the deceased the dignity they deserve.”

Turner says her measure would reestablish integrity and trust in the death care industry by putting procedures and protocols in place that aim to prevent the misidentification and misplacement of dead bodies or human remains and conduct that results in a method of final disposition that differs from what is stipulated by the deceased individual or the deceased’s next of kin.

“When we lose a loved one, we expect a funeral home to respect the remains of our friends and family,” said Turner. “We are talking about a person who has loved ones and a story of their own. It is vital that we ensure no family has to receive the dreaded call that the remains they received belong to someone else. This has become a nationwide issue that needs to be addressed.”

Senate Bill 2643 awaits committee assignment in the Senate.


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