Parliament Approves Bill Allowing Funeral Homes to Bury Unclaimed Bodies After Specified Duration

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Parliament has given its approval to amendments in the Public Health Amendment Bill of 2023, enabling Funeral Homes to inter unclaimed bodies after a specific period.

Health Minister Sir Molwyn Joseph ardently advocated for this legislation, emphasizing the government’s responsibility to arrange the burial of unclaimed bodies when no one comes forward to claim them.

Expressing his sympathy, he lamented the plight of families unable or unwilling to claim their deceased loved ones.

To alleviate the financial burden, provisions have been made for funeral expenses to be covered through the deceased’s estate or Social Security benefits.

In cases where assets are insufficient, the government will step in to cover reasonable costs.

The bill mandates that an unclaimed human corpse cannot be retained in a funeral home or any authorized facility for more than 14 days, emphasizing the need for a compassionate and efficient resolution to this matter.

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