Funeral Directors weigh in on fetal remains rules

Funeral Directors weigh in on fetal remains rules

A controversial new requirement has funeral directors concerned about how their jobs may be impacted.

The rules were supposed to go into effect on the 19th and mandate that aborted fetal tissue must be buried regardless of how long it has been gestating. A new challenge has now come up against the ruling, however funeral directors are still left with many questions.

When Governor Abbott first proposed new regulations, funeral home directors from around the state went to him to express their concerns.

But nothing changed.

Now, many are wondering what will come of their business when the rules begin implementation. Past President of the Texas Funeral Directors Association Michael Land says many of these parents who lose a child are traditionally offered services pro bono.

But an influx of remains may change how the services operate.

"With this new ruling, we really do not know what to expect on the funeral home side," says Land. "We have no idea as to the numbers of unreported fetal demise or miscarriages there are that would have to be handled through a funeral home."

If the numbers are high, Land says funeral establishments would probably no longer to keep up with charitable contributions to families. And there is gray area as far as who will handle expenses for these burials or cremations.

"The rule does state that the burden will be carried by the medical facilities, however that is just wording in the rule. It will probably be something that is passed down to either the families or the funeral community."

Land says the state feels burials will average about $450 per fetus. However, he tells us minimum spaces currently in Dallas are $500 to $800 or more, just for the property to bury.

"I think their numbers are way off base and that these costs could escalate up to 1000, 2000 dollars depending on the method of disposition whether it be cremation or earth burial."

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