Session 2000
Effective: July 1, 2000

An Act concerning dead bodies; relating to autopsies; relating to the final disposition of
      such bodies; amending K.S.A. 22a-233 and repealing the existing section.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:

      Section  1. K.S.A. 22a-233 is hereby amended to read as follows: 22a-
233. (a) If, in the opinion of the coroner, an autopsy should be performed,
or if an autopsy is requested in writing by the county or district attorney
or if the autopsy is required under K.S.A. 22a-242, and amendments
thereto, such autopsy shall be performed by a qualified pathologist as may
be designated by the coroner. A pathologist performing an autopsy, at
the request of a coroner, shall be paid a usual and reasonable fee to be
allowed by the board of county commissioners and shall be allowed and
paid the travel allowance prescribed for coroners and deputy coroners in
accordance with the provisions of K.S.A. 22a-228, and amendments
thereto, the same to be paid by the board of county commissioners of the
county in which the cause of death occurred except that autopsies per-
formed under K.S.A. 22a-242, and amendments thereto, shall be paid for
in accordance with K.S.A. 22a-242, and amendments thereto.

      (b) If, in the opinion of the secretary of corrections, warden or ad-
ministrator of a correctional facility, jail or other institution for the de-
tention of persons accused or convicted of crimes, an autopsy of a person
who died while in the custody of such official should be performed, such
autopsy shall be performed by a qualified pathologist as may be desig-
nated by the secretary of corrections, warden or administrator. A pa-
thologist performing an autopsy pursuant to this subsection shall be paid
a fee and travel allowance in the same amount as authorized by K.S.A.
22a-228, and amendments thereto. Such fee and travel allowance shall be
paid by the correctional facility, jail or other facility where the death
occurred from moneys available therefor. For the purposes of this sub-
section, custody does not include general supervision of a person on pro-
bation, parole, postrelease supervision or constraint incidental to release
on bail. This subsection shall not limit the authority of a coroner pursuant
to subsection (a).

      (b) (c) The pathologist performing the autopsy shall remove and re-
tain, for a period of three years, such specimens as appear to be necessary
in the determination of the cause of death.

      (c) (d) A full record and report of the facts developed by the autopsy
and findings of the pathologist performing such autopsy shall be promptly
made and filed with the coroner and with the clerk of the district court
of the county in which decedent died. If, in any case in which this act
requires that the coroner be notified, the body is buried without the
permission of the coroner, it shall be the duty of the coroner, upon being
advised of such fact, to notify the county or district attorney, who shall
communicate the same to a district judge, and such judge may order that
the body be exhumed and an autopsy performed.

      New Sec.  2. (a) The following persons, in order of priority stated,
may order any lawful manner of final disposition of a decedent's remains
including burial, cremation, entombment or anatomical donation:

      (1) The agent for health care decisions established by a durable power
of attorney for health care decisions pursuant to K.S.A. 58-625, et seq.,
and amendments thereto, if such power of attorney conveys to the agent
the authority to make decisions concerning disposition of the decedent's

      (2) the spouse of the decedent;

      (3) the decedent's surviving adult children. If there is more than one
adult child, any adult child who confirms in writing the notification of all
other adult children, may direct the manner of disposition unless the
funeral establishment or crematory authority receives written objection
to the manner of disposition from another adult child;

      (4) the decedent's surviving parents;

      (5) the persons in the next degree of kinship under the laws of de-
scent and distribution to inherit the estate of the decedent. If there is
more than one person of the same degree, any person of that degree may
direct the manner of disposition;

      (6) a guardian of the person of the decedent at the time of such
person's death;

      (7) the personal representative of the decedent; or

      (8) in the case of indigents or any other individuals whose final dis-
position is the responsibility of the state or county, the public official
charged with arranging the final disposition pursuant to K.S.A. 1999 Supp.
22a-215 and amendments thereto.

      (b) A funeral director, funeral establishment or crematory shall not
be subject to criminal prosecution or civil liability for carrying out the
otherwise lawful instructions of the person or persons under subsection
(a) if the funeral director reasonably believes such person is entitled to
control final disposition.

      Sec.  3. K.S.A. 22a-233 is hereby repealed.

      Sec.  4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
publication in the statute book.