Support for SB 161/HB 301 Autopsies and Death Certificates
AFN passed resolution 14-2 supporting SB 161/HB 301. This legislation will make minor changes to Alaska law regarding the autopsy and death certificate issuance process to benefit Alaska families, particularly rural Alaska Native families.
Rural Alaska families frequently incur high funeral home costs after their loved ones are transported to Anchorage for State Medical Examiner (SME) examination. This is because families generally read the Release Authorization for Remains Form (RAF), which is required for the SME to release the remains to the next-of-kin and transfer their loved one to a funeral home. However, this is not true, and families may elect to have their loved one released directly to them.
SB 161/HB 301 will require the state to provide fair written communication through the RAF, and other communications to better enable families to make informed decisions that align with Alaska Native culture beliefs and budget constraints.
AFN would like to ask if the issues in the resolution are important to your respective regions that you partner with other tribal and non-tribal organizations in your area, and send the bill sponsors individual letters of support or support.
SB 161/HB 301 is sponsored by Senator Olson, Representative Herron and Representative Edgmon.