AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 17, TITLE 24, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED DEAD BODIES, THE USE THEREOF BY APPROVED INSTITUTIONS OR PERSONS IN CONNECTION WITH ANATOMICAL STUDIES, AND THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE MEDICAL COUNCIL AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF DELAWARE WITH REGARD THERETO.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:
Section 1. Chapter 17, Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new subchapter VI to read:
SUBCHAPTER VI. ANATOMICAL STUDIES
§ 1771. Registration of Approved Institutions and Persons
Any non-profit hospital or research institution and teachers, students, research workers, and technicians in this State conducting anatomical studies accredited by the American Medical Association or by the American Osteopathic Association or by the American Society of Anatomy or by the American College of Pathology, desiring to obtain dead bodies for the purpose of anatomical studies, shall register with the Medical Council on such forms as may be prescribed by the Medical Council and for the purpose of this Act such a registered hospital or research institution shall be known as an Approved Institution, and any registered teacher, student, research worker, or technician shall be known as an Approved Person, and the Medical Council shall have the right to refuse registration of such hospital or research institution or such persons.
§ 1772. Duties of Public Officers
The Coroner of each county of this State, and every other public officer of this State or of any agency, county, or political sub-division thereof, who shall have or receive custody or control
of the body of any decedent, other than a dead body on which an autopsy has been performed, pursuant to the provisions of Section 4711, of Chapter 47, Delaware Code, and which body is not claimed within a reasonable time by a surviving spouse or relative of the decedent, but not less than 120 hours following the death of the decedent, and which body will require burial at the expense of the State or of any agency, county, or political sub-division thereof, shall forthwith notify the Medical Council of the existence and location of the dead body and of any identification thereof.
§ 1773. Designation of Recipient Approved Institution
The Medical Council shall, promptly upon receipt by it of notice of the existence, location, and identification of a dead body pursuant to Section 1773 of this subchapter, designate one of the Approved Institutions to receive such body for use including dissection, in connection with anatomical studies conducted by Approved Persons and shall notify the Approved Institutions of its designation, and shall notify the officer having custody of the body thereof, and the officer shall promptly deliver the body to the Approved Institution so designated upon payment by the hospital or research institution of the cost of embalming said body, and any necessary transportation and storage costs involved.
(a) Each Approved Institution to which a dead body has been assigned for anatomical studies, shall maintain said body in an embalmed condition, shall at all times ensure its proper and safe custody in an approved place of dissection, shall permit only Approved Persons to have access to such a body, and shall identify all parts dissected free from the body with the same serial number assigned to the body by the Medical Council.
§ 1774. Disposition of Remains
Any Approved Institution which shall have received a dead body pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter, shall upon completion of the study thereof deliver the body as then constituted to the Coroner of the county in which such Approved Institution shall be situate for burial or cremation provided, however, that such Approved Institution shall pay the expenses of such burial or cremation, and of the preparation of such body therefor at the rates provided by law or which are usual and customary in such cases, provided that with the approval of the Inspector of Anatomy mentioned in Section 1776, such an Approved Institution may retain certain portions of said body for special research or teaching purposes.
§ 1775. Powers and Duties of Medical Council
The Medical Council shall, in the performance of its duties pursuant to this subchapter:
(a) Establish such reasonable regulations as may be necessary therefor.
(b) Maintain complete records therefor.
(c) Maintain a registry of Approved Institutions and Persons pursuant to Section 1771 of this subchapter.
(d) Allocate unclaimed dead bodies to each of the Approved Institutions according to the number of Approved Persons and the character of anatomical studies conducted at such Approved Institutions.
§ 1776. Appointment of an Inspector of Anatomy
The Attorney General in consultation with the Medical Council, shall on such conditions as he may deem fit, appoint as an Inspector of Anatomy a Medical Practitioner or a person with a special training or experience in medico-legal matters and the duties of such an Inspector shall be to (i) enter on and inspect periodically any or all Approved Institutions where dissection of dead bodies may be in progress, and examine any body or record or thing relating to the use of such dead bodies; (ii) report to the Medical Council and the Attorney General any unsatisfactory condition relating to the custody, use, or disposal of dead bodies at such institutions or any other place where they may be located; (iii) investigate the alleged misconduct of any authorized or unauthorized person who has access to dead bodies; and for the purpose of this Act, any person who obstruct the Inspector in the performance of his duties shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00).
Approved May 8, 1964.
NOTE: The first paragraph § 1773 was codified as § 1773 (a), and § 1773 (a) was codified as § 1773 (b), Title 29, Delaware Code.