130th Ohio General Assembly
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Sub. H. B. No. 481  As Passed by the House
As Passed by the House

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
Sub. H. B. No. 481


Representative Hackett 

Cosponsors: Representatives Beck, Grossman, Boose, Wachtmann, Henne, Slaby, L., Combs, Adams, R., Boyd, Bubp, Buchy, Carney, Damschroder, Gardner, Garland, Gerberry, Goodwin, Hall, Hayes, Kozlowski, Letson, Mallory, McClain, Milkovich, Newbold, Thompson, Yuko Speaker Batchelder 



A BILL
To amend sections 4717.05, 4717.06, 4717.10, 4717.11, 4717.12, 4717.21, 4717.24, and 4717.30 of the Revised Code to authorize the Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors to issue courtesy licenses to allow funeral directors in bordering states to conduct limited funeral-related activities in Ohio; to permit embalmers and funeral directors to place their licenses on inactive status; to clarify that, upon the sale of the funeral home, the home may remain operating based upon a submission of a new license application to the Board; to permit out-of-state funeral directors without a license to work with licensed funeral directors during a declared disaster or emergency; and to eliminate the requirement that funeral homes be the guarantor of the identity of decedents and instead require funeral homes to complete only visual identification of remains.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 4717.05, 4717.06, 4717.10, 4717.11, 4717.12, 4717.21, 4717.24, and 4717.30 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 4717.05.  (A) Any person who desires to be licensed as an embalmer shall apply to the board of embalmers and funeral directors on a form provided by the board. The applicant shall include with the application an initial license fee as set forth in section 4717.07 of the Revised Code and evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the board, that the applicant meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The applicant is at least eighteen years of age and of good moral character.
(2) If the applicant has pleaded guilty to, has been found by a judge or jury to be guilty of, or has had a judicial finding of eligibility for treatment in lieu of conviction entered against the applicant in this state for aggravated murder, murder, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault, kidnapping, rape, sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, aggravated arson, aggravated robbery, or aggravated burglary, or has pleaded guilty to, has been found by a judge or jury to be guilty of, or has had a judicial finding of eligibility for treatment in lieu of conviction entered against the applicant in another jurisdiction for a substantially equivalent offense, at least five years has elapsed since the applicant was released from incarceration, a community control sanction, a post-release control sanction, parole, or treatment in connection with the offense.
(3) The applicant holds at least a bachelor's degree from a college or university authorized to confer degrees by the Ohio board of regents or the comparable legal agency of another state in which the college or university is located and submits an official transcript from that college or university with the application.
(4) The applicant has satisfactorily completed at least twelve months of instruction in a prescribed course in mortuary science as approved by the board and has presented to the board a certificate showing successful completion of the course. The course of mortuary science college training may be completed either before or after the completion of the educational standard set forth in division (A)(3) of this section.
(5) The applicant has registered with the board prior to beginning an embalmer apprenticeship.
(6) The applicant has satisfactorily completed at least one year of apprenticeship under an embalmer licensed in this state and has assisted that person in embalming at least twenty-five dead human bodies.
(7) The applicant, upon meeting the educational standards provided for in divisions (A)(3) and (4) of this section and completing the apprenticeship required in division (A)(6) of this section, has completed the examination for an embalmer's license required by the board.
(B) Upon receiving satisfactory evidence verified by oath that the applicant meets all the requirements of division (A) of this section, the board shall issue the applicant an embalmer's license.
(C) Any person who desires to be licensed as a funeral director shall apply to the board on a form provided by the board. The application shall include an initial license fee as set forth in section 4717.07 of the Revised Code and evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the board, that the applicant meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (D) of this section, the applicant has satisfactorily met all the requirements for an embalmer's license as described in divisions (A)(1) to (4) of this section.
(2) The applicant has registered with the board prior to beginning a funeral director apprenticeship.
(3) The applicant, following mortuary science college training described in division (A)(4) of this section, has satisfactorily completed a one-year apprenticeship under a licensed funeral director in this state and has assisted that person in directing at least twenty-five funerals.
(4) The applicant has satisfactorily completed the examination for a funeral director's license as required by the board.
(D) In lieu of mortuary science college training required for a funeral director's license under division (C)(1) of this section, the applicant may substitute a satisfactorily completed two-year apprenticeship under a licensed funeral director in this state assisting that person in directing at least fifty funerals.
(E) Upon receiving satisfactory evidence that the applicant meets all the requirements of division (C) of this section, the board shall issue to the applicant a funeral director's license.
(F) A funeral director or embalmer may request the funeral director's or embalmer's license be placed on inactive status by submitting to the board a form prescribed by the board and such other information as the board may request. A funeral director or embalmer may not place the funeral director's or embalmer's license on inactive status unless the funeral director or embalmer is in good standing with the board and is in compliance with applicable continuing education requirements. A funeral director or embalmer who is granted inactive status is prohibited from participating in any activity for which a funeral director's or embalmer's license is required in this state. A funeral director or embalmer who has been granted inactive status is exempt from the continuing education requirements under section 4717.09 of the Revised Code during the period of the inactive status.
(G) A funeral director or embalmer who has been granted inactive status may not return to active status for at least two years following the date that the inactive status was granted. Following a period of at least two years of inactive status, the funeral director or embalmer may apply to return to active status upon completion of all of the following conditions:
(1) The funeral director or embalmer files with the board a form prescribed by the board seeking active status and provides any other information as the board may request;
(2) The funeral director or embalmer takes and passes the Ohio laws examination for each license being activated;
(3) The funeral director or embalmer pays a reactivation fee to the board in the amount of one hundred forty dollars for each license being reactivated.
(H) As used in this section:
(1) "Community control sanction" has the same meaning as in section 2929.01 of the Revised Code.
(2) "Post-release control sanction" has the same meaning as in section 2967.01 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4717.06.  (A)(1) Any person who desires to obtain a license to operate a funeral home, embalming facility, or crematory facility shall apply to the board of embalmers and funeral directors on a form provided by the board. The application shall include the initial license fee set forth in section 4717.07 of the Revised Code and proof satisfactory to the board that the funeral home, embalming facility, or crematory facility is in compliance with rules adopted by the board under section 4717.04 of the Revised Code, rules adopted by the board of building standards under Chapter 3781. of the Revised Code, and all other federal, state, and local requirements relating to the safety of the premises.
(2) If the funeral home, embalming facility, or crematory facility to which the license application pertains is owned by a corporation or limited liability company, the application shall include the name and address of the corporation's or limited liability company's statutory agent appointed under section 1701.07 or 1705.06 of the Revised Code or, in the case of a foreign corporation, the corporation's designated agent appointed under section 1703.041 of the Revised Code. If the funeral home, embalming facility, or crematory facility to which the application pertains is owned by a partnership, the application shall include the name and address of each of the partners. If, at any time after the submission of a license application or issuance of a license, the statutory or designated agent of a corporation or limited liability company owning a funeral home, embalming facility, or crematory facility or the address of the statutory or designated agent changes or, in the case of a partnership, any of the partners of the funeral home, embalming facility, or crematory facility or the address of any of the partners changes, the applicant for or holder of the license to operate the funeral home, embalming facility, or crematory facility shall submit written notice to the board, within thirty days after the change, informing the board of the change and of any name or address of a statutory or designated agent or partner that has changed from that contained in the application for the license or the most recent notice submitted under division (A)(2) of this section.
(B)(1) The board shall issue a license to operate a funeral home only for the address at which the funeral home is operated. The funeral home license and licenses of the embalmers and funeral directors employed by the funeral home shall be displayed in a conspicuous place within the funeral home.
(2) The funeral home shall have on the premises one of the following:
(a) If embalming will take place at the funeral home, an embalming room that is adequately equipped and maintained. The embalming room shall be kept in a clean and sanitary manner and used only for the embalming, preparation, or holding of dead human bodies. The embalming room shall contain only the articles, facilities, and instruments necessary for those purposes.
(b) If embalming will not take place at the funeral home, a holding room that is adequately equipped and maintained. The holding room shall be kept in a clean and sanitary manner and used only for the preparation, other than embalming, and holding of dead human bodies. The holding room shall contain only the articles and facilities necessary for those purposes.
(3) Except as provided in division (B) of section 4717.11 of the Revised Code, a funeral home shall be established and operated only under the name of a holder of a funeral director's license issued by the board who is actually in charge of and ultimately responsible for the funeral home, and a funeral home license shall not include directional or geographical references in the name of the funeral home. The holder of the funeral home license shall be a funeral director licensed under this chapter who is actually in charge of and ultimately responsible for the funeral home. Nothing in division (B)(3) of this section prohibits the holder of a funeral home license from including directional or geographical references in promotional or advertising materials identifying the location of the funeral home.
(4) Each funeral home shall be directly supervised by a funeral director licensed under this chapter, who shall supervise only one funeral home.
(C)(1) The board shall issue a license to operate an embalming facility only for the address at which the embalming facility is operated. The license shall be displayed in a conspicuous place within the facility.
(2) The embalming facility shall be adequately equipped and maintained in a sanitary manner. The embalming room at such a facility shall contain only the articles, facilities, and instruments necessary for its stated purpose. The embalming room shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition and used only for the care and preparation of dead human bodies.
(3) An embalming facility license shall be issued only to an embalmer licensed under division (B) of section 4717.05 of the Revised Code, who is actually in charge of the facility.
(D)(1) The board shall issue a license to operate a crematory facility only for the address at which the crematory facility is located and operated. The license shall be displayed in a conspicuous place within the crematory facility.
(2) The crematory facility shall be adequately equipped and maintained in a clean and sanitary manner. The crematory shall contain only the articles, facilities, and instruments necessary for carrying out the business of the crematory. The crematory shall contain a separate area for the performance of cremation and pulverization of dead human bodies, human body parts, and animals. The crematory facility may be located in a funeral home, embalming facility, cemetery building, or other building in which the crematory facility may lawfully operate. If a crematory facility engages in the cremation of animals, the crematory facility shall cremate animals in a cremation chamber that also is not used to cremate dead human bodies or human body parts and shall not cremate animals in a cremation chamber used for the cremation of dead human bodies and human body parts. Cremation chambers that are used for the cremation of dead human bodies or human body parts and cremation chambers used for the cremation of animals may be located in the same area.
(3) A license to operate a crematory facility shall be issued to a the person actually in charge of the crematory facility. This section does not require the individual who is actually in charge of the crematory facility to be an embalmer or funeral director licensed under this chapter.
(4) Nothing in this section or rules adopted under section 4717.04 of the Revised Code precludes the establishment and operation of a crematory facility on or adjacent to the property on which a cemetery, funeral home, or embalming facility is located.
Sec. 4717.10.  (A) The board of embalmers and funeral directors may recognize licenses issued to embalmers and funeral directors by other states, and upon presentation of such licenses, may issue to the holder an embalmer's or funeral director's license under this chapter. The board shall charge the same fee as prescribed in section 4717.07 of the Revised Code to issue or renew such an embalmer's or funeral director's license. Such licenses shall be renewed annually as provided in section 4717.08 of the Revised Code. The board shall not issue a license to any person under this section unless the applicant proves that the applicant, in the state in which the applicant is licensed, has complied with requirements substantially equal to those established in section 4717.05 of the Revised Code.
(B) The board of embalmers and funeral directors may issue courtesy cards. A courtesy cardholder shall be authorized to undertake both the following acts in this state:
(1) Prepare and complete those sections of a death certificate and other permits needed for disposition of deceased human remains in this state and sign and file such death certificates and permits;
(2) Supervise and conduct funeral ceremonies and interments in this state.
(C) The board of embalmers and funeral directors may determine under what conditions a courtesy card may be issued to funeral directors in bordering states after taking into account whether and under what conditions and fees such border states issue similar courtesy cards to funeral directors licensed in this state. Applicants for courtesy cards shall apply on forms prescribed by the board, pay an annual fee set by the board for initial applications and renewals, and adhere to such other requirements imposed by the board on courtesy cardholders.
(D) No courtesy cardholder shall be authorized to undertake any of the following activities in this state:
(1) Arranging funerals or disposition services with members of the public in this state;
(2) Be employed by or under contract to a funeral home licensed in this state to perform funeral services in this state;
(3) Advertise funeral or disposition services in this state;
(4) Enter into or execute funeral or disposition contracts in this state;
(5) Prepare or embalm deceased human remains in this state;
(6) Arrange for or carry out the disinterment of human remains in this state.
(E) As used in this section, "courtesy card" means a special permit that may be issued to a funeral director licensed in a state that borders this state and who does not hold a funeral director's license under this chapter.
Sec. 4717.11.  (A) A person who is licensed to operate a funeral home shall obtain a new license upon any change in location of the funeral home or any change in ownership of the funeral business that owns the funeral home that results in a majority of the ownership of the funeral business being held by one or more persons who solely or in combination with others did not own a majority of the funeral business immediately prior to the change in ownership. The person licensed to operate the funeral home shall surrender the current license to the board within thirty days after any such change occurs. If a funeral home is sold, the new owner funeral director who will be actually in charge and ultimately responsible for the funeral home shall apply for a license within thirty days after the date of the closing of the purchase of the funeral home. Upon the filing of an application for a funeral home license by a licensed funeral director, the funeral home may continue to operate until the board denies the funeral home's application.
(B) When the funeral director who is licensed to operate a funeral home dies or otherwise ceases to operate the home because of death, resignation, employment termination, sale of the funeral home, or any other reason, the funeral home may continue to operate under that person's name, provided that the name of the new person licensed to operate the funeral home is added to the license within twenty-four months after the previous license holder dies or otherwise ceases to operate the funeral home. The new licensee shall meet the requirements of section 4717.06 of the Revised Code.
(C) A person who is licensed to operate an embalming facility shall obtain a new license upon any change in location of the embalming facility or any change in ownership of the business entity that owns the embalming facility that results in a majority of the ownership of the business entity being held by one or more persons who solely or in combination with others did not own a majority of the business entity immediately prior to the change in ownership. The person licensed to operate the facility shall surrender the current license to the board within thirty days after any such change occurs.
(D) A person who is licensed to operate a crematory facility shall obtain a new license upon any change in location of the crematory facility or any change in ownership of the business entity operating the facility that results in a majority of the ownership of the business entity being held by one or more persons who solely or in combination with others did not own a majority of the business entity immediately prior to the change in ownership. The person licensed to operate the crematory facility shall surrender the current license to the board within thirty days after any such change occurs.
Sec. 4717.12.  (A) The following persons are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:
(1) An officer or employee of the department of health or any board of health, who, in compliance with rules or orders of the department of health or board of health, is preparing the body of a person whose death was caused by a virulent communicable disease;
(2) An officer, employee, or licensed physician of a medical college, when any of these are acting on behalf of a medical college;
(3) Any person carrying out sections 1713.34 to 1713.39 of the Revised Code, prescribing the conditions under which the bodies of indigent persons are held subject for anatomical study;
(4) Any person licensed in another state as a funeral director or embalmer who is assisting a funeral director or embalmer licensed under this chapter during a disaster or an emergency in the state that has been declared by this state or a political subdivision.
(B) This chapter does not prevent or interfere with any of the following:
(1) The ceremonies, customs, religious rights, or religion of any people, denomination, or sect;
(2) Any religious denomination or sect, or any body composed of members of a denomination;
(3) Any church or synagogue committee in preparing dead human bodies for burial;
(4) The conducting of funerals and the burial of dead human bodies in accordance with the ceremonies or rights described in division (B) of this section without the use, employment, or supervision of a licensed embalmer or funeral director, except when the body is that of a person whose death was caused by a virulent communicable disease, in which case the rules of the department of health or board of health having territorial jurisdiction shall apply.
Sec. 4717.21.  (A) Any person, on an antemortem basis, may serve as the person's own authorizing agent, authorize the person's own cremation, and specify the arrangements for the final disposition of the person's own cremated remains by executing an antemortem cremation authorization form. A guardian, custodian, or other personal representative who is authorized by law or contract to do so on behalf of a person, on an antemortem basis, may authorize the cremation of the person and specify the arrangements for the final disposition of the person's cremated remains by executing an antemortem cremation authorization form on the person's behalf. Any such antemortem cremation authorization form also shall be signed by one witness. The original copy of the executed authorization form shall be sent to the operator of the crematory facility being authorized to conduct the cremation, and a copy shall be retained by the person who executed the authorization form. The person who executed an antemortem cremation authorization form may revoke the authorization at any time by providing written notice of the revocation to the operator of the crematory facility named in the authorization form. The person who executed the authorization form may transfer the authorization to another crematory facility by providing written notice to the operator of the crematory facility named in the original authorization of the revocation of the authorization and, in accordance with this division, executing a new antemortem cremation authorization form authorizing the operator of another crematory facility to conduct the cremation.
(B)(1) Each antemortem cremation authorization form shall specify the final disposition that is to be made of the cremated remains.
(2) Every antemortem cremation authorization form entered into on or after the effective date of this amendment shall specify the final disposition that is to be made of the remains and shall include a provision in substantially the following form:
NOTICE: Upon the death of the person who is the subject of this antemortem cremation authorization, the person holding the right of disposition under section 2108.70 or 2108.81 of the Revised Code may cancel the cremation arrangements, modify the arrangements for the final disposition of the cremated remains, or make alternative arrangements for the final disposition of the decedent's body. However, the person executing this antemortem cremation authorization is encouraged to state his or her preferences as to the manner of final disposition in a declaration of the right of disposition pursuant to section 2108.72 of the Revised Code, including that the arrangements set forth in this form shall be followed.
(C)(1) Except as provided in division (C)(2) of this section, when the operator of a crematory facility is in possession of a cremation authorization form that has been executed on an antemortem basis in accordance with this section, the other conditions set forth in division (A) of section 4717.23 of the Revised Code have been met, the crematory facility has possession of the decedent to which the antemortem authorization pertains, and the crematory facility has received payment for the cremation of the decedent and the final disposition of the cremated remains of the decedent or is otherwise assured of payment for those services, the crematory facility shall cremate the decedent as directed and dispose of the cremated remains in accordance with the instructions contained in the antemortem cremation authorization form.
(2) A person with the right of disposition for a decedent under section 2108.70 or 2108.81 of the Revised Code who is not disqualified under section 2108.75 of the Revised Code may cancel the arrangements for the decedent's cremation, modify the arrangements for the final disposition of the decedent's cremated remains, or make alternative arrangements for the final disposition of the decedent's body. If a person with the right takes any such action, the operator shall disregard the instructions contained in the antemortem cremation authorization form and follow the instructions of the person with the right.
(D) An antemortem cremation authorization form executed under division (A) of this section does not constitute a contract for conducting the cremation of the person named in the authorization form or for the final disposition of the person's cremated remains. Despite the existence of such an antemortem cremation authorization, a person identified under division (A) of section 4717.22 of the Revised Code as being entitled to act as the authorizing agent with the right of disposition for the cremation of the a decedent named in the antemortem authorization, in the descending order of priority in which they are listed, under section 2108.70 or 2108.81 of the Revised Code may modify, in writing, the arrangements for the final disposition of the cremated remains of the decedent set forth in the authorization form or may cancel the cremation and claim the decedent's body for purposes of making alternative arrangements for the final disposition of the decedent's body. The revocation of an antemortem cremation authorization form executed under division (A) of this section, or the cancellation of the cremation of the person named in the antemortem authorization or modification of the arrangements for the final disposition of the person's cremated remains as authorized by this division, does not affect the validity or enforceability of any contract entered into for the cremation of the person named in the antemortem authorization or for the final disposition of the person's cremated remains.
(E) Nothing in this section applies to any antemortem cremation authorization form executed prior to the effective date of this section. Any cemetery, funeral home, crematory facility, or other party may specify, with the written approval of the person who executed the antemortem authorization, that such an antemortem authorization is subject to sections 4717.21 to 4717.30 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4717.24.  (A) A cremation authorization form authorizing the cremation of a dead human body, other than one that was donated to science for purposes of medical education or research, shall include at least all of the following information and statements:
(1) The identity of A statement that the decedent has been identified in accordance with division (B) of this section;
(2) The name of the funeral director or other individual who obtained the burial or burial-transit permit authorizing the cremation of the decedent;
(3) The name of the authorizing agent and the relationship of the authorizing agent to the decedent;
(4) A statement that the authorizing agent in fact has the right to authorize cremation of the decedent and that the authorizing agent does not have actual knowledge of the existence of any living person who has a superior priority right to act as the authorizing agent under section 4717.22 of the Revised Code. If the person executing the cremation authorization form knows of another living person who has such a superior priority right, the authorization form shall include a statement indicating that the person executing the authorization form has made reasonable efforts to contact the person having the superior priority right and has been unable to do so and that the person executing the authorization form has no reason to believe that the person having the superior priority right would object to the cremation of the decedent.
(5) A statement of whether the authorizing agent has actual knowledge of the presence in the decedent of a pacemaker, defibrillator, or any other mechanical or radioactive device or implant that poses a hazard to the health or safety of personnel performing the cremation;
(6) A statement indicating the crematory facility is to cremate the casket or alternative container in which the decedent was delivered to or accepted by the crematory facility;
(7) A statement of whether the crematory facility is authorized to simultaneously cremate the decedent in the same cremation chamber with one or more other decedents who were related to the decedent named in the cremation authorization form by consanguinity or affinity or who, at any time during the one-year period preceding the decedent's death, lived with the decedent in a common law marital relationship or otherwise cohabited with the decedent. A cremation authorization form executed under this section shall not authorize the simultaneous cremation of a decedent in the same cremation chamber with one or more other decedents except under the circumstances described in the immediately preceding sentence.
(8) The names of any persons designated by the authorizing agent to be present in the holding facility or cremation room prior to or during the cremation of the decedent or during the removal of the cremated remains from the cremation chamber;
(9) The authorization for the crematory facility to cremate the decedent and to process or pulverize the cremated remains as is the practice at the particular crematory facility;
(10) A statement of whether it is the crematory facility's practice to return all of the residue removed from the cremation chamber following the cremation or to separate and remove foreign matter from the residue before returning the cremated remains to the authorizing agent or the person designated on the authorization form to receive the cremated remains pursuant to division (A)(11) of this section;
(11) The name of the person who is to receive the cremated remains of the decedent from the crematory facility;
(12) The manner in which the final disposition of the cremated remains of the decedent is to occur, if known. If the cremation authorization form does not specify the manner of the final disposition of the cremated remains, it shall indicate that the cremated remains will be held by the crematory facility for thirty days after the cremation, unless, prior to the end of that period, they are picked up from the crematory facility by the person designated on the cremation authorization form to receive them, the authorizing agent, or, if applicable, the funeral director who obtained the burial or burial-transit permit for the decedent, or are delivered or shipped by the operator of the crematory facility to one of those persons. The authorization form shall indicate that if no instructions for the final disposition are provided on the authorization form and that if no arrangements for final disposition have been made within the thirty-day period, the crematory facility may return the cremated remains to the authorizing agent. The authorization form shall further indicate that if no arrangements for the final disposition of the cremated remains have been made within sixty days after the completion of the cremation and if the authorizing agent has not picked them up or caused them to be picked up within that period, the operator may dispose of them in accordance with division (C) of section 4717.27 of the Revised Code.
(13) A listing of the items of value to be delivered to the crematory facility along with the dead human body, if any, and instructions regarding how those items are to be handled;
(14) A statement of whether the authorizing agent has made arrangements for any type of viewing of the decedent or for a service with the decedent present prior to the cremation and, if so, the date, time, and place of the service;
(15) A statement of whether the crematory facility may proceed with the cremation at any time after the conditions set forth in division (A) of section 4717.23 of the Revised Code have been met and the decedent has been received at the facility;
(16) The certification of the authorizing agent to the effect that all of the information and statements contained in the authorization form are accurate;
(17) The signature of a funeral director licensed under this chapter, or another individual, as a witness. If a licensed funeral director signs the authorization form as a witness, the funeral director is responsible for verifying the accuracy of the information and statements required under divisions (A)(1) and (2) of this section, but is not responsible for verifying the accuracy of any of the other information or statements provided on the authorization form by the authorizing agent, unless the funeral director has actual knowledge to the contrary regarding any of the other information or statements. In addition, at the time the decedent is delivered to the crematory facility, the funeral director shall certify that the dead human body delivered to the crematory facility is that of the decedent identified on the authorization form and shall certify that the responsibility imposed on the funeral director by division (B) of section 4717.29 of the Revised Code has been carried out. If an individual other than a licensed funeral director signs the authorization form as a witness, the individual is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information or statements provided on the authorization form, unless the individual has actual knowledge to the contrary regarding any of the information or statements provided by the authorizing agent and the signature of at least one witness who observed the authorizing agent execute the cremation authorization form.
(B) In making the identification of the decedent required by division (A)(1) of this section, the funeral home arranging the cremation shall require the authorizing agent or the agent's appointed representative to visually identify the decedent's remains or a photograph or other visual image of the remains. If identification is by photograph or other visual image, the authorizing agent or representative shall sign the photograph or other visual image. If visual identification is not feasible, other positive identification of the decedent may be used including, but not limited to, reliance upon an identification made through the coroner's office or identification of photographs or other visual images of scars, tattoos, or physical deformities taken from the decedent's remains.
(C) An authorizing agent who is not available to execute a cremation authorization form in person may designate another individual to serve as the authorizing agent by providing to the operator of the crematory facility where the cremation is to occur a written designation, acknowledged before a notary public or other person authorized to administer oaths, authorizing that other individual to serve as the authorizing agent, or by sending to the operator a facsimile transmission of the written designation that has been so acknowledged. Any such written designation shall contain the name of the decedent, the name and address of the authorizing agent, the relationship of the authorizing agent to the decedent, and the name and address of the individual who is being designated to serve as the authorizing agent. Upon receiving such a written designation or a facsimile transmission of such a written designation, the operator shall permit the individual named in the written designation to serve as the authorizing agent and to execute the cremation authorization form authorizing the cremation of the decedent named in the written designation.
(C)(D) An authorizing agent who signs a cremation authorization form under this section is hereby deemed to warrant the accuracy of the information and statements contained in the such authorization form, including the person's identification of the decedent and the agent's authority to authorize the cremation. A funeral home and its employees are not responsible for verifying the accuracy of any information or statements the authorizing agent made on the authorization form, unless the funeral home or its employees have actual knowledge to the contrary regarding any such information or statement. When delivering the decedent's remains to a crematory facility or in carrying out the disposition in its own facility, the funeral home is responsible for having the decedent identified pursuant to division (B) of this section and carrying out the obligations imposed on the funeral home by division (B) of section 4717.29 of the Revised Code.
(D)(E) At any time after executing a cremation authorization form and prior to the beginning of the cremation process, the authorizing agent who executed the cremation authorization form under division (A) or (B)(C) of this section may, in writing, modify the arrangements for the final disposition of the cremated remains of the decedent set forth in the authorization form or may, in writing, revoke the authorization, cancel the cremation, and claim the decedent's body for purposes of making alternative arrangements for the final disposition of the decedent's body. The operator of a crematory facility shall cancel the cremation if the operator receives such a revocation before beginning the cremation.
(E)(F) A cremation authorization form executed under this section does not constitute a contract for conducting the cremation of the decedent named in the authorization form or for the final disposition of the cremated remains of the decedent. The revocation of a cremation authorization form or modification of the arrangements for the final disposition of the cremated remains of the decedent pursuant to division (D)(E) of this section does not affect the validity or enforceability of any contract for the cremation of the decedent named in the authorization form or for the final disposition of the cremated remains of the decedent.
Sec. 4717.30.  (A) The operator of a crematory facility or a funeral director is not liable in damages in a civil action for any of the following actions or omissions, unless the actions or omissions were made with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner or unless any of the conditions set forth in divisions (B)(1) to (3) of this section apply:
(1)(a) For having arranged or performed the cremation of the decedent, or having released or disposed of the cremated remains, in accordance with the instructions set forth in the cremation authorization form executed by the decedent on an antemortem basis under section 4717.21 of the Revised Code;
(b) Having For having arranged or performed the cremation of the decedent or body parts removed from the decedent or living person or having released or disposed of the cremated remains in accordance with the instructions set forth in a cremation authorization form executed in person by the person authorized to serve as the authorizing agent for the cremation of the decedent or for the cremation of body parts of the decedent or living person, named in the cremation authorization form executed under section 4717.24 or 4717.25 of the Revised Code.
(2) Having For having arranged or performed the cremation of the decedent, or having released or disposed of the cremated remains, in accordance with the instructions set forth in the cremation authorization form executed by a designated agent under division (B)(C) of section 4717.24 of the Revised Code.
(B) The operator of a crematory facility is not liable in damages in a civil action for refusing to accept a dead human body or body parts or to perform a cremation under any of the following circumstances, unless the refusal was made with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner:
(1) The operator has actual knowledge that there is a dispute regarding the cremation of the decedent or body parts, until such time as the operator receives an order of the probate court of common pleas having jurisdiction ordering the cremation of the decedent or body parts or until the operator receives from the parties to the dispute a copy of a written agreement resolving the dispute and authorizing the cremation to be performed.
(2) The operator has a reasonable basis for questioning the accuracy of any of the information or statements contained in a cremation authorization form executed under section 4717.21, 4717.24, or 4717.25 of the Revised Code, as applicable, that authorizes the cremation of the decedent or body parts.
(3) The operator has any other lawful reason for refusing to accept the dead human body or body parts or to perform the cremation.
(C) The operator of a crematory facility or a funeral director is not liable in damages in a civil action for refusing to release or dispose of the cremated remains of a decedent or body parts when the operator or funeral director has actual knowledge that there is a dispute regarding the release or final disposition of the cremated remains in connection with any damages sustained, prior to the time the operator or funeral director receives an order of the probate court of common pleas having jurisdiction ordering the release or final disposition of the cremated remains, or prior to the time the facility operator or funeral director receives from the parties to the dispute a copy of a written agreement resolving the dispute and authorizing the cremation to be performed.
(D) The operator of a crematory facility is not liable in damages in a civil action in connection with the cremation of, or disposition of the cremated remains of, any dental gold, jewelry, or other items of value delivered to the facility with a dead human body or body parts, unless either or both of the following apply:
(1) The cremation authorization form authorizing the cremation of the decedent or body parts executed under section 4717.21, 4717.24, or 4717.25 of the Revised Code, as applicable, contains specific instructions for the removal or recovery and disposition of any such dental gold, jewelry, or other items of value prior to or after the cremation, and the operator has failed to comply with the written instructions.
(2) The actions or omissions of the operator were made with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner.
(E)(1) This section does not create a new cause of action against or substantive legal right against the operator of a crematory facility or a funeral director.
(2) This section does not affect any immunities from civil liability or defenses established by another section of the Revised Code or available at common law to which the operator of a crematory or a funeral director may be entitled under circumstances not covered by this section.
Section 2.  That existing sections 4717.05, 4717.06, 4717.10, 4717.11, 4717.12, 4717.21, 4717.24, and 4717.30 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
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