Proposal to charge fee on storage of bodies in city morgue advances
A bill allowing the city medical examiner to start charging mortuaries daily fees for the storage of bodies won preliminary approval from the City Council Budget Committee on Wednesday.
Budget Chairman Joey Manahan promised that the bill won’t get final passage until the local funeral industry and Dr. Christopher Happy, the city’s chief medical examiner, can agree on a policy they can all live with.
Happy told Council members that the intent is to charge fees only when there is a delay in picking up a corpse after his office is done with an autopsy and has made a determination into the cause of death.
Bill 104 (2017) proposes charging funeral establishments or any other entity responsible for disposition of a deceased person $50 a day for storing human remains that are not picked up beginning with the third day after a commitment or contract assigning responsibility is made.
A deceased person’s estate may be charged the same daily amount five days after notification of death.
When those slots become filled, the only thing that we can do is move bodies to a private facility.”
Christopher Happy Honolulu chief medical examiner