Funeral Home Transportation Policy Template Developed

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On March 7, 2014, Consumer Protection BC issued a notice regarding the proper authorization funeral providers require from the person(s) who have the right to control the disposition of human remains.

To help ensure the procedures are workable for our members, we arranged a teleconference with Consumer Protection BC (CPBC) and the BC Funeral Association. We have also engaged in communication with the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC (PGT). We are pleased to inform our members that a new policy template has been designed for use by our members. It helps to address most of the policy concerns expressed by care home operators subsequent to the CPBC notice. For example, by following the procedures outlined in the policy template, care home staff can once again authorize the transport of a deceased resident from their residence to the funeral home.

As an exclusive resource for our members, we are providing a policy template that sets out the recommended administrative procedure for the transfer of a deceased resident from their care home to the appropriate funeral provider. This policy template can be applied in all residential care and assisted living sites. The policy template was produced over the last month in consultation with the Health Authorities and CPBC.

To access this member exclusive policy template, please click here.

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For more information on the teleconference that took place between Consumer Protection BC (CPBC), the BC Funeral Association, and the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC (PGT), please click here.

A copy of Consumer Protection BC’s notice issued in March is below:

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Requirement for Authorization- Funeral Services or Disposition

Consumer Protection BC has been responding to issues involving the provision of funeral services by licensed BC funeral providers prior to the proper authorization being received from the person(s) who have the right to control the disposition of the human remains.

cpbcConsumer Protection BC wishes to reiterate and clarify the specific obligations of funeral providers under theCremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act (CIFSA) as they relate to the initiation and provision of funeral services.

Funeral services includes:

(a) arrangements and services related to the interment or cremation of human remains,
(b) care and preparation of human remains for purposes related to paragraph (a),
(c) bereavement rites and ceremonies, and
(d) the supply of goods incidental to and as part of the arrangements, services, care, preparation and bereavement rites and ceremonies referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c),
but does not include the sale of rights of interment or the disposition of human remains by interment or cremation;

Section 8 of the CIFSA states that a funeral provider must not provide funeral services unless the funeral provider has received written authorization from the person who, under section 5 [control of disposition of human remains or cremated remains], has the right to control the disposition of the human remains. However, a funeral provider may accept an authorization by telephone to begin funeral services if the funeral provider does not dispose of the human remains until the funeral provider receives the written authorization required.

Please note that under all circumstances, a funeral provider must not provide funeral services until they receive authorization from the person with the right to control the disposition of the human remains as detailed in section 5(1) of the CIFSA. The right to control disposition only exists after the passing of the decedent. Pickup and/or transferring of human remains are both considered funeral services. Under all circumstances, disposition is not permissible until written authorization is attained. 
 
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Consumer Protection BC is a not-for-profit corporation that was created to strengthen consumer protection in BC and enforce consumer protection laws. We license and inspect specific industries, respond to inquiries through our Inquiry Centre, investigate alleged violations of consumer protection laws, and educate consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities under the law.  For more information about our organization, please visit our corporate website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. Follow Consumer Protection BC on Twitter @ConsumerProBC, like us on Facebook and read our blog for valuable tips and resources.