Quick release of dead sought

December 26, 2018

THE House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure that orders the release of cadavers 24 hours after death.

Majority members underscored the need to approve House Bill 8627 in recognition of the different burial rites of various religions in the country.

The measure  mandates that all medical facilities should release to the family a cadaver in their possession within 24 hours from the time of death.

House Bill 8627, authored by Maguindanao Rep. Bai Sandra Sinsuat Sema and Lanao del Sur Rep. Mauyag Papandayan Jr. seeks to amend Republic Act 9349 entitled “An Act Prohibiting the Detention of Patients in Hospitals and Medical Clinics on Grounds of Nonpayment of Hospital Bills or Medical Expenses.”

The measure seeks to honor customs and traditions of Muslim, Christian, and Indigenous Filipinos with regard to their religious burial rites, especially those that require burial after death.

HB 8627 seeks to mandate the immediate release within 24 hours of the cadavers of Muslims, Christians or Indigenous Peoples in the custody of government hospitals, medical clinic, morgue, or other facilities.

For a private hospital, the family of the deceased shall execute a promissory note to the concerned establishment on the amount incurred for the release of the cadaver.

The bill further excludes from the policy of leniency towards patients who cannot afford to pay their hospital bills those who are confined in private hospital rooms.

Lastly, the bill provides that the necessary rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of the measure shall be promulgated by the Department of Health (DoH).