BFD 17-04: Anatomical Donation

December 28, 2017

BFD 17-04

Dear Funeral Directors:

The Bureau of Funeral Directing, in cooperation with the Bureau of Vital Records, is announcing a policy change in the manner in which Anatomical Donations are being handled at your local registration district.

The current Certificate of Death, in box 20A, includes "Donation" as a form of final disposition, while the current Burial Transit Permit (BTP) does not. In early 2018, the BTP will be modified to add "Donation" as well.

Effective November 10, 2017 until the Burial Transit Permit is modified, funeral firms will continue to use the current Burial Transit Permit for anatomical donations with the following procedural change. If the body is to be donated to a medical school or teaching hospital anatomical program, no box in the disposition section of the burial transit permit should be checked. Instead, the firm should write in the word "Donation" in the date field (to the right of Removal and/or Hold) along with the date the institution receives the remains. Additionally, the name and address of the medical school or teaching hospital should be entered into the Burial Transit Permit.

The process for filing necessary forms has not changed. Medical school or teaching hospital anatomical programs which process the remains of the donation on site will file the Burial Transit Permit with their local registration district. In these cases, no further action is required, and the donation facility will be considered the place of final disposition.

If the remains are to be disposed of at a facility not associated with the medical school or teaching hospital, or if the family wishes to change the method of disposition, the funeral director overseeing the change (whether a licensed staff member of the anatomical program or a licensed sub-contractor) submits a Medical/Burial Death Correction Report, DOH-1999 to the local registrar of the district where the original permit was filed. The local registrar issues a new permit indicating the type, date, and place of final disposition. The new permit is filed by the person in charge of the place of disposition with the local registrar of the district where the final disposition takes place.

If you have any questions regarding the change in the Burial Transit Permit or the filing of necessary forms, please contact the Bureau of Funeral Directing at 518-402-0785. Thank you for your cooperation.


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