Disposal of human remains during state of public health emergency
(1) As used in this section:
(a) “Contaminated material” means wastes or other materials exposed to or tainted by chemical, radiological, or biological substances or agents.
(b) “Transmissible agent” means a biological substance capable of causing disease or infection through individual to individual transmission, animal to individual transmission, or other modes of transmission.
(2) Notwithstanding any provision in ORS chapter 97 or 692, during a state of public health emergency, the Public Health Director may:
(a) Prescribe measures to provide for the safe disposal of human remains as may be reasonable and necessary to respond to the public health emergency. Measures adopted under this subsection may include the embalming, burial, cremation, interment, disinterment, transportation and disposal of human remains.
(b) Require any person in charge of disposing of human remains to clearly label the human remains of a deceased person with a communicable disease or transmissible agent with an external, clearly visible tag indicating that the human remains are infected or contaminated and, if known, the communicable disease or transmissible agent or contaminated materials present in the remains.
(c) After a medical examiner has certified the cause and manner of death, order a person in charge of disposing of human remains to dispose of the human remains of a person who has died of a communicable disease or transmissible agent through burial or cremation within a specified time period. To the extent practicable, religious, cultural, family and individual beliefs of the deceased person or the person’s family shall be considered when disposing of any human remains.
(3) The Public Health Director must consult and coordinate with the Chief Medical Examiner when exercising authority under this section. Nothing in this section is intended to override authority granted to the Chief Medical Examiner or district medical examiner under ORS 146.003 (Definitions for ORS 146.003 to 146.189 and 146.710 to 146.992) to 146.189 (Use of records to identify human remains and missing persons) and 146.710 (Definition for ORS 146.710 to 146.780) to 146.992 (Penalties). [2007 c.445 §28; 2017 c.151 §27]
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