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a funeral home for transport
A hospital mortuary (amphitheatre,
depository, altar of repose, morgue) is located within a hospital, a care
centre, a hospice or a retirement home.
It employs salaried personnel called "mortuary and disinfection
service agents" or "morticians".
Hospital Mortuaries are part of hospital services.
Use of a hospital
mortuary is free of charge for the first 3 days following
No transportation fees may be charged.
A hospital mortuary may be designated as an autopsy site
for forensic purposes. (Section R 44-7 and 9 of the Public Health code)
In rural regions where there are no funerary facilities
nearby, a hospital mortuary may accept the body of a person who died
outside its own premises, for a fee (Legislation 202-276, 02/27/02)
A private mortuary is a
private structure to receive remains waiting for burial or cremation. It
is mostly used in some cases of death at home. Unlike a hospital mortuary,
a private mortuary may not accept the bodies of persons who died of
certain contagious diseases.
All Private Mortuaries are managed by funeral homes.
Private mortuaries are part of the external services of funeral homes.
They fall under the category either of :
- Funeral home or Funeral parlour,
- the trade name of : Funérarium®,
Stay and transportation
to a funeral home are onerous and may not be imposed.
(Payment or refund is made by the care
centre, the retirement home or the family)
of the body upon request from an institution
|Upon death in a
hospital, a private clinic, a hospice or a retirement home :
The transfer of the body to a private funeral home or the
residence is not mandatory and cannot be required of the
Placement in the coffin and closure of the coffin can always be
done where the death occurred.
The Ministry of health has confirmed the notion of
"medico-social institution residence of the deceased"
in the written question n° 01816, Official Gazette of the
Senate dated 01/02/03, page 78, which states: "the body of
the deceased may remain within as if in its own residence".
The mortal remains may remain 6 days in a retirement home
belonging to the medico-social sector and not related to a
health facility, in accordance with the Code Général des
Collectivités Territoriales. (non-official translation -
Section R. 2213-33 and R.2213-35)
1) You may be offered
To display the body in the mortuary of a public health institution or
a private funeral home nearby (only if the death occurred in a care
centre): free of charge for the first 3 days.
The body may be sent to a funeral home, upon request from the
Director of the institution : transport and stay free of
In the event of an agreement on your part and taking in
consideration the lack of equipment, an "admission request to the
private funeral home" must be signed by you.
To avoid being billed and to ensure that
this is not considered a specific request on your part, write next to
your signature :
"transfer upon request from the Director of the institution,
at no cost to the family"
Important : The Director of a retirement
home may take the initiative to have the body transported to a private
funeral home, providing he or she confirms in writing his or her failed
attempts to contact a person qualified to make the funeral arrangements
within 10 hours of the death. Costs of transportation and stay remain
the responsibility of that institution.
You may also wish for the body not to remain in an
institution but request it to be transported to the residence. A 24 hours
delay will be granted, 48 hours with preservation care.
In this instance, and in order to fulfil your wishes, you will be charged
all costs (various steps, body bag, transportation, embalming, etc.)
Section R. 2223-79
The remains of a person who has died in a public or private
health institution, not mandated by section L 2223-39 to have
mortuary facilities, and when this is done at the request of the
Director of the institution, the costs of transportation to the
funeral home are the responsibility of the institution, as well
as the costs for the first 3 days of stay following admission.
Institutions lacking mortuary
facilities will refund expenses incurred for
transportation of the remains and the first 3 days of stay to
the qualified person to make funerary arrangements, upon
presentation of receipts detailing the services provided.
(non-official translation - excerpt from A.N. 21/06/1999 p.
3824, le Ministre de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité).
text of the "Assemblée Nationale", 06/21/1999, page
3824 (French langage)
Should you consent to the transfer to a funeral home: the costs
of transfer and the first 3 days of stay following admission are
the responsibility of that care facility, as they are free of
charge to the family.
(non-official translation - Sec. R. 361-40, Code des communes,
decree-law n° 94-1027, 11/23/1994)
2) You may be asked to contact an agency to have it
provide transportation of the
remains to a funeral home.
Such request is unethical and takes advantage of your
lack of knowledge.
Refuse to make the call
and do not approach such an agency in any manner :
the transfer request must come from the institution, not you.
If you agree to such
transfer, do not forget to write on the authorization presented to you:
"transfer upon request from the Director of the institution,
at no cost to the family"
OF THIS ADVICE WILL RESULT IN YOUR OBLIGATION TO PAY FOR :
- TRANSFER WITHOUT PLACEMENT IN A COFFIN,
- ADMISSION FEES,
- LENGTH OF STAY,
- RENT OF PREPARATION ROOM, PARLOR,
- POSSIBLE EMBALMING CARE.
In the case of a person dying in a retirement home (considered
the residence of the deceased) do not listen to the following
institution habitually transfers the remains to a funeral
legislation requires the remains to be transferred from the
premises as soon as possible."
- "The remains
must be retrieved by the family within two hours."
Certain care centres, retirement homes and corporations managing
funeral homes have agreements.
The practices of transfer may also aim to channel clientele for
the benefit of certain funeral homes corporations.
(condemned by the Conseil de la
Denounce abusive stipulations by retirement homes that force
families to transfer the mortal remains.
(this is sometimes a condition of
registration or admission in an institution!)
Research the costs of transportation to a funeral home before
taking such action, if you so desire.
Be critical in selecting a funeral home (free choice since
Section L. 361-19-1. of the law of January 8,
Public or private health institutions satisfying the conditions
fixed by Council of State decree-law must provide a mortuary where the
mortal remains of the persons who died there must be placed. (non-official
Section 11, decree-law 97-1039, November 14, 1997.
Health institutions where more than 200 deaths occur annually are no
longer authorized to enter into contractual agreement with private funeral
homes. (non-official translation)
Section 9, decree-law 95-653, May 9, 1995.
Public or private health institutions must post in their mortuary, in a
place accessible to the public, and give to anyone upon request a list of
qualified funeral homes. (non-official translation)
Official Gazette, May 10, 1995, Section 32.
When the remains of a deceased person have been admitted to a
funeral home in accordance with Sections R. 361-37, second
paragraph, second and third hyphen, and R. 361-38, Code des communes (transfer
upon request from the Director of an institution, Editor's note),
and this funeral home includes, within the dispositions of Section L.
361-19, Code des communes, premises where other external services of
funeral homes are offered, the manager of the funeral home may not
take an order for these other services before receiving from the qualified
person to make the funeral arrangements a signed document by the said
person, attesting he or she has previously consulted the list mentioned in
Section 31 above. (non-official translation)
(Prefecture list of qualified funeral home
societies, Editor's note)
Particular case of requisition
of a funeral home
In the event of a death on a public road or in order to
satisfy public health requirements, a society for the transportation of
mortal remains may be requisitioned. The Mayor or the Director of Public
Prosecution may demand payment of transportation costs before placement in
the coffin and transportation to the family.
(non-official translation - Code Général des Collectivités
Territoriales, Sections L.2212-2, 5° and L.2215-1)
transportation before laying in the coffin
The decree-law n° 2002-1065, August 5, 2002,
authorizes one or several funerary transports without placement in a
coffin from where the remains are initially housed to the residence of the
deceased, a family residence or a private funeral home, whether the
initial housing of the remain was done by the family or upon request from
Section R. 2213-7.
Without prejudice to specific requirements set in Section R. 2223-77,
transport of a deceased person, without placement in a coffin, to his or
her residence, the residence of a family member or a funeral home is
authorized whatever the initial location of the remains, within the
stipulations of Sections R. 2213-8, R. 2213-9 and R.2213-11, by the Mayor
of the place of repose of the remains. (non-official translation)
Section R. 2213-8.
The authorization is subject to:
1° The request of a qualified person to make funeral arrangements and
proof of identity and residence;
2° Preliminary identification of the remains by such person;
3° The death occurring in a home for the aged or a health institution,
with written consent from the Director;
4° The written consent of the Departmental Senior medical officer of a
public health institution, or his/her representative,
or the attending physician in a private health
institution or the physician who registered the death, if the death
outside a health facility;
5° The preliminary fulfilling of formalities required by Sections 78, 79
and 80 of the Civil Code relative to the attestation
of death. (non-official translation)
Section R. 2213-9.
The refusal of the physician, mentioned in Section R. 2213-8, is justified.
The physician may only oppose the transport in the following instances:
1° The death raises a forensic concern;
2° At the time of death, the deceased was suffering from a contagious
disease contained in the list issued by decree-law
of the Minister in charge of Health, after
consultation with the Conseil supérieur d'hygiène publique de France;
3° The condition of the remains does not permit transportation.
When the physician opposes the transport of the remains
without a coffin, he informs immediately the family
in writing and if necessary the Director of the
institution. (non-official translation)
Section R. 2213-10.
If the death occurs in an administrative region other than where the
remains are transferred, then a notice of authorization of transport must
be sent without delay to the Mayor of that commune. (non-official
Section R. 2213-11.
When preservation care of the remains stipulated in paragraph 1 have not
been administered, the transportation of the remains must take place
within twenty-four hours of death. The period can be extended to
forty-eight hours if such care has been administered. The report
stipulated in Section R. 2213-4 is added to the file created for the
transport of the remains. (non-official translation)
Section R. 2213-12.
When the permission is denied, the remains may not be transported until
placed in a coffin and within the stipulations of Sections R. 2213-15 to
R. 2213-28. (non-official translation)