Delaware General Assembly



Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. From and after the passage of this Act no person shall destroy or dispose of by burning in the State of Delaware the body of an individual dead from any cause, except in a crematorium or crematory licensed for this express purpose, and under the conditions provided in this Act.

Section 2. A person, firm, organization or association desiring to acquire, erect or construct a crematory shall first obtain a permit from the State Board of Health, after depositing with that Board such blue prints giving construction details, plans of location or other information as shall be required. The crematory shall be so constructed as to be able to reduce to ashes a body, so that there shall remain not more than five per cent of the weight of the body immediately after death. The crematory shall be subject at all times to inspection by the State Board of Health, and by such officers of the State, Legal or Police Departments as may desire to inspect it. It shall not be located, managed or conducted at any time in such a way as to be a public nuisance.

Section 3. A body to be cremated cannot be so disposed of under a burial or disposal permit obtained from a State or Local Registrar under the provisions of the Vital Statistics Act, but only after the preparation of a special permit obtained for this purpose. This special permit shall be obtained from a State or Local Registrar after there having been first deposited with him the death certificate prepared under the provisions of the Vital Statistics Law and a certificate signed by one physician and by a coroner of a county and/or by a member of the office of the Attorney General to the effect that there is no medical or legal reason that the destruction of the body by the process of cremation should not be permitted. The permit shall be retained by the person, firm, corporation or association conducting the crematory, and shall be produced for inspection or other purposes when asked for by the inspecting authority.

Section 4. After the cremation has been completed a report indicating the name of the individual, his address while alive, the date and cause of death, and the names of the individuals signing the permit, the date of the cremation, and the disposal of the ashes shall be forwarded within twenty-four (24) hours by the persons in charge of the crematory to the State Board of Health.

Section 5. The ashes resulting from the cremation of a body may be delivered by the attendants of the crematory to any member of the family of the deceased designated to receive them or to the person or persons arranging for the cremation. After this delivery they may be transported in any way in the State and disposed of in such a way as is desired by the person or persons receiving them.

Section 6. A representative of the family or some individual accredited to act as a representative of the family of the individual being cremated may be present at the time the cremation is being carried out.

Section, 7. The provisions laid down in Section 3 respecting the signatures of a physician and coroner or the signature of a member of the office of the Attorney General shall be required in respect of the cremation of the body of an individual dying in the State, but removed to any other state for the purpose of cremation.

Section 8. The cremation in the State of Delaware of the bodies of persons dying in other states is permissible if there has been first complied with all the legal requirements of the state in which the death occurred.

Section 9. The State Board of Health is hereby empowered to prepare regulations governing the conditions under which the bodies of persons dying from an infectious or communicable disease can be transported from any portion of the State to a crematorium for the process of cremation.

Section 10. Any person who shall give false information, and/or violate any of the provisions hereinabove provided shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or imprisoned not more than one year, at the discretion of the Court.

Approved February 28, 1935.