ORS 97.160¹
Duty of hospital or sanitarium to notify before sending remains to undertaker
  • procedures

(1) No hospital or sanitarium, or the employees, agents or representatives thereof, shall send or cause to be sent to any funeral service practitioner, undertaker, mortician or embalmer the remains of any decedent without having complied with this section before final disposition of the remains.

(2) If the admitting record contains the name of a relative, friend or other person identified by the decedent in the admitting record, or if the hospital or sanitarium is aware of the name of any other person chargeable with the funeral expenses of the decedent, the hospital or the sanitarium must notify the relative, friend or other person personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(3) If a hospital or sanitarium is unable to give actual notice to a relative, friend or other person under the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, the hospital or sanitarium must publish a notice of death at least one time in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the death occurred, or, if there is no such newspaper, in a newspaper most likely to give notice of the death to relatives and friends of the decedent. The notice must contain the name of the decedent and the address and phone number for the hospital or sanitarium.

(4) If the remains of the decedent are not claimed within 10 days after the giving of notice under subsection (2) of this section, or within 10 days after publication under subsection (3) of this section if publication is made under subsection (3) of this section, the hospital or sanitarium may arrange for the disposal of the remains of the decedent without further notice in the manner specified by ORS 97.170 (Disposition of unclaimed body of deceased person) to 97.200 (Disposition of remains after use).

(5) Nothing in this section limits or governs the authority of any administrator or executor, trustee or other person having a fiduciary relationship with the deceased or to the state, counties, cities or towns in the disposition of the remains of a deceased person. [Amended by 1993 c.92 §1]

Chapter 97

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Embalming dead human body without prior authoriza­tion from surviving spouse or next of kin, (1981) Vol 41, p 457

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 97—Rights and Duties Relating to Cemeteries, Human Bodies and Anatomical Gifts, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors097.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 97, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano097.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information