[Histonet] RE: Histonet Digest, Return of Body Parts for religious reasons

Terri Braud tbraud <@t> holyredeemer.com
Wed Nov 26 09:43:27 CST 2008

You might want to check with local regulations concerning burial.  Here, and at other facilities that I've been a part of, we receive these requests regularly, usually associated with amputated limbs, however, we make it a policy to release no "soft tissue" to a patient, but instead we ask that they make arrangements with a funeral home (since this is supposed to be for purposes of burial, eventually) and it is only to the funeral home that we will release the part.  What happens to the part after that, is between the patient and their funeral home representative, which is much more familiar with regulations and practices for these situations. This is the only way to complete way protect the hospital from liability of having a body part "stored in the attic". 

Terri L. Braud, HT(ASCP)
Anatomic Pathology Supervisor
Holy Redeemer Hospital and Medical Center
1648 Huntingdon Pike
Meadowbrook, PA 19046
(215) 938-3676 phone
(215) 938-3689 fax

The premise I've been given is so that, upon death, the patient may be 
stored with her body parts.

My facility has concerns about providing it to her in formalin (for obvious 
reasons) or alcohol. The patient admits this is a family practice with 
momma's appendix already being stored in the attic.

It can get a bit toasty warm here in the South so attic storage of a 
specimen in alcohol may not be prudent and I can't be absolutely certain it 
wouldn't burn the house down, another potential liability for my 

I'm tempted to give it to her in food grade vinegar, to avoid the potential 
liabilities from using anything that could be considered hazardous.
Assuming that returning her gall bladder is a given, what do you think of 
using vinegar for this purpose?

Vinnie Della Speranza

Manager for Anatomic Pathology Services



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