BFD 17-03: Identification, Labeling and Storage of Human Remains

April 26, 2017

BFD 17-03

Dear Funeral Directors:

Recently the Division of Hospitals and Diagnostic & Treatment Centers of the New York State Department of Health (Department) sent the attached letter to all the hospitals in the state which are routinely involved in the release of human remains to funeral firms. The Department has become aware of multiple human remains misidentifications through complaints from affected family members and through media reports. In order to prevent such occurrences, the Department and the Bureau of Funeral Directing decided to share this communication with you and encourages each funeral firm to perform a review of their policies and procedures for all human remains transfers, and to work with their local hospitals to develop mutually advantageous protocols for identification and release of human remains.

Please review the attached letter, and expect that your local community health care facility may contact you, or your local association, to work together to prevent unfortunate errors in the future.

Should you have any questions, please contact the Bureau of Funeral Directing at 518-402-0785.


Thomas W. Fuller, Director
Bureau of Funeral Directing
NYS Department of Health