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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 25, 2019 04:08 PM
From: Representative David M. Delloso
To: All House members
Subject: Failure to Report a Dead Body
Across the country, there have been many instances in which people have failed to report the death or discovery of a dead body to the proper authorities. This not only poses health risks but creates opportunities for fraud. In one instance, a wife continued to receive her husband’s VA benefits checks for nine months as he lay dead in the home because she failed to report his death. In Pennsylvania, current law does nothing to deter such a horrific situation, as average citizens are not legally obligated to report a dead body.

While law enforcement and medical professionals must call the authorities upon the discovery of a corpse, other individuals are not required to do so. My legislation would make it a crime to fail to notify a 911 system, physician or other medical professional, law enforcement agency, or funeral home of a death or the discovery of a body unless the person knows or reasonably believes that the death has already been reported.

Please join me in keeping families informed of the whereabouts of their vulnerable loved ones, preserving the dignity of those passed, and deterring the siphoning of benefits dollars sorely needed by others in the Commonwealth by supporting this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1859