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Statehouse Sitdown: Body Bill - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Statehouse Sitdown: Body Bill

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

A Vermont lawmaker's research at the state cemetary dug up a grim relic of a law that she's now trying to get changed.

Representative Anne Donahue of Northfield says the current law on the books allows unclaimed bodies to be snatched up for research without prior consent of the deceased.

"Folks who had no resources, no money for burials, and no family willing to speak up within 48 hours and say no -- automatically any doctor could request that body for anatomical education," Donahue says.

The bill also seeks to fill a loophole that leaves unclaimed bodies at the state morgue on ice indefinitely. Right now, there are three such bodies in state custody.

The new provision would allow the chief medical examiner to cremate them after three years if no relatives are found.

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