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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New York State Bans Use of Unclaimed Dead as Cadavers Without Consent

By Nina Bernstein
The New York Times
Originally posted August 19, 2016

A bill that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York signed into law this week concerns the dead as much as the living and signals a big change in public attitudes about what one owes the other.

The law bans the use of unclaimed bodies as cadavers without written consent by a spouse or next of kin, or unless the deceased had registered as a body donor. It ends a 162-year-old system that has required city officials to appropriate unclaimed bodies on behalf of medical schools that teach anatomical dissection and mortuary schools that train embalmers.

The state’s medical schools recently announced that they were withdrawing their opposition to the measure, saying they would meet any shortfall in cadavers by expanding their programs for private body donations.

The article is here.