SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The death care industry may face more regulation when handling human remains in Illinois due to a new bill in the capitol.
In September, Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon announced his office was opening an investigation into Heinz Funeral Home/Family Care Cremations in Carlinville after dozens of families were given the wrong cremains. August Heinz, the funeral director for Heinz, has since had his license for embalming and funeral directing revoked by the state.
State Senator Doris Turner (D-Springfield) filed a bill in response to the investigation. She says it’s important for funeral homes to be held accountable for the treatment of remains.
“We are talking about a person who has loved ones and a story of their own,” Turner said. “It is vital that we ensure no family has to receive the dreaded call that the remains they received belong to someone else. This has become a nationwide issue that needs to be addressed.”
Turner’s bill would require creating a tagging system for all human remains to ensure the right remains are required to be returned to the right next of kin. Chain of custody documentation would also be required for human remains with any death that happens in Illinois under the bill.
Allmon is also in favor of the bill.
“This proposed legislation will help protect our loved and lost,” the coroner said. “It will help assure the proper identification and treatment of someone after death. This will also help prevent the victimization of families who are grieving the loss of someone they love, all while giving the deceased the dignity they deserve.”
Turner filed the bill Wednesday.