Skip to main content
The Anatomy Act
This is an unofficial archived version of The Anatomy Act
as enacted by SM 1987-88, c. 9 on July 17, 1987.

R.S.M. 1987, c. A80

The Anatomy Act

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Definitions.

1

In this Act,

"authorized person" means The University of Manitoba, or any other institution, duly qualified medical practitioner or registered dentist, authorized to receive delivery of the body of a dead person under this Act; ("personne autorisée")

"burial" includes cremation; ("inhumation" )

"inspector" means the Inspector of Anatomy appointed under this Act; ("inspecteur")

"minister" means the member of the Executive Council charged by the Lieutenant Governor in Council with the administration of this Act; ("ministre")

"preferred claimant" means a husband, wife, parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin, step-father, step-mother, step-child, step-brother, step-sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law of a deceased person, or the person named by the deceased as executor of his will, or a representative of Last Post Fund incorporated under the laws of Canada, and includes any such kindred of the half-blood equally with those of the whole-blood; ("réclamant privilégié")

"sub-inspector" means any sub-inspector of anatomy appointed under this Act; ("sous-inspecteur")

"university" means The University of Manitoba, represented by the Department of Anatomy of the Faculty of Medicine thereof or by the Department of Anatomy of the Faculty of Dentistry thereof. ("université")

Provincial divisions.

2

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may divide the province into one or more divisions or sections for the purpose of this Act.

Appointment of inspectors.

3(1)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint an Inspector of Anatomy and one or more sub-inspectors, together with such other officers, clerks, and employees, as may be required to carry out this Act.

Medical practitioners etc., not to be appointed.

3(2)

No person who is a medical practitioner or a registered dentist or who is in any way directly connected with the university, other than a medical examiner or chief medical examiner appointed under The Fatality Inquiries Act or a medical officer or dental officer employed by the government, shall be appointed as inspector or as a sub-inspector.

Bodies unclaimed for 48 hours.

4(1)

The body of any person which remains unclaimed by a preferred claimant, for a period of 48 hours after the death of that person shall, at the expiration of that period, be under the control of the inspector or of the sub-inspector of the division or section within which death occurred.

Claim by preferred claimant.

4(2)

Any person who is a preferred claimant in respect of the body of a dead person may at any time claim the body from the inspector or a subinspector or an authorized person; and, on such a claim being made, the inspector or sub-inspector or the authorized person shall forthwith deliver the body to the preferred claimant.

Rights of preferred claimant.

4(3)

Nothing in this Act prohibits or prevents a person who is a preferred claimant in respect of the body of a dead person

(a) remaining in possession of the body, either by himself or his duly authorized agent, when that possession has been lawfully acquired; or

(b) taking possession of the body at any time before it has come into the possession or control of the inspector or a sub-inspector.

Persons entitled to claim.

5(1)

Subject to this Act, any person who is a preferred claimant or other relative or bona fide friend of the deceased, and no other person, shall be entitled to claim the body of a dead person at any time after it has come into the possession or under the control of the inspector or a sub-inspector.

Acceptance or postponement of claim.

5(2)

Subject to section 4, the inspector or sub-inspector may accept or postpone a claim.

Right of appeal.

5(3)

Where the authorized person or a claimant is dissatisfied with the order or ruling of the inspector or sub-inspector, if he has given to the inspector or sub-inspector notice of his intention so to do, he may, within two days from the date of the order or ruling, apply to a provincial judge for an order directing delivery of the body to him; and the provincial judge, if he is satisfied that the claim is justified, may, in his discretion, direct that the body be delivered to the applicant, subject to such conditions as the provincial judge may impose.

Waiver of claim.

5(4)

Any person entitled to claim a body may present to the inspector or sub-inspector a duly signed and witnessed waiver or renunciation of his claim; and the body shall thereafter be deemed to be unclaimed.

Consent to use of body.

5(5)

Notwithstanding anything in section 4, any person may, before his death, consent in writing over his signature, and in a form satisfactory to the inspector, to the use of his body after death for the purposes mentioned in subsection 6(1) and to the control thereof by the inspector for those purposes.

Approval of consent by claimant.

5(6)

If, before or after the death of a person to whom subsection (5) applies, the consent is approved and countersigned by a person entitled to claim the body of the deceased and presented to the inspector or a sub-inspector, the consent has the same effect as a waiver presented under subsection (4).

Effect of death of claimant.

5(7)

The death of the person entitled to claim the body after he has approved and countersigned the consent but before the death of the person in respect of whose body the consent is given, does not invalidate the consent or the approval and countersignature thereof.

Making of claim.

5(8)

A person claiming a body may make the claim personally or through his duly authorized agent.

Burial of claimed body.

5(9)

A person who claims and receives a body under this section is responsible for the proper burial thereof and shall pay, or cause to be paid, the cost of that burial.

Body to be delivered to university.

6(1)

Where the body of a dead person that is under the control of the inspector or a subinspector remains unclaimed for a period of 24 hours after coming under that control, the inspector or sub-inspector shall, if so required, deliver the body to the university for the purposes of anatomical or other scientific instruction or requirements.

Disposal of body not required by university.

6(2)

Where such a body is not required by the university, the inspector or sub-inspector shall dispose of it

(a) by delivery thereof to another institution or to a duly qualified medical practitioner or a registered dentist, in accordance with, and as may be prescribed by, the regulations; or

(b) in such other manner as may be prescribed in the regulations.

When post-mortem prohibited.

7(1)

No person shall perform an autopsy or post-mortem upon a body to which subsection 4(1) refers, unless authorized in writing to do so by the medical examiner or chief medical examiner appointed under The Fatality Inquiries Act.

Possession for anatomical studies.

7(2)

Members of the staff and medical students or dental students of the university, with the approval of the physician or pathologist performing a medico-legal autopsy, if authorized by the medical examiner in charge of the body, or the chief medical examiner, may obtain therefrom such material in the recent state as they require for anatomical or other scientific instruction or requirements.

Limitation on embalming.

7(3)

Notwithstanding section 10, no person shall embalm a body to which subsection 4(1) refers and that has not been delivered to an authorized person, or in respect of which a waiver or consent has been given under subsections 5(4) or (5) unless authorized in writing to do so by the medical examiner or chief medical examiner appointed under The Fatality Inquiries Act, the inspector, or a sub-inspector.

Authority of medical examiner.

7(4)

Nothing in this Act abridges or curtails the powers or authority of the medical examiner or chief medical examiner appointed under The Fatality Inquiries Act.

Fees payable to inspector.

8

Any person claiming and receiving a body after control thereof has passed to the inspector or a sub-inspector shall pay to the inspector or sub-inspector the fee prescribed in the regulations, together with the amount of the expenses incurred by the inspector or sub-inspector with respect to the body.

Fees payable to authorized person.

9

An authorized person to whom a body is delivered under this Act shall pay to the inspector or sub-inspector having control of the body, the fee prescribed in the regulations, together with the amount of the expenses incurred by the inspector or sub-inspector with respect to the body.

Bodies to be held 28 days.

10

An authorized person to whom a body is delivered under this Act, may embalm the body upon receipt thereof; but he shall keep and preserve the body otherwise intact for a period of not less than 28 days.

Claim subsequent to delivery to authorized person.

11(1)

A body in the possession of an authorized person to whom the body has been delivered under this Act may be claimed by any person entitled to claim it; and, if the claim is accepted by the inspector or the sub-inspector of the division or section within which death occurred, the body shall be delivered to the claimant upon payment of the amount of all expenses incurred by the authorized person with respect to the body.

Claims subsequent to use of body for anatomical studies.

11(2)

Where a body claimed under subsection (1) has been used for purposes of anatomical or other scientific instruction or requirements, the claimant shall accept the body in the state in which it exists at the time of delivery.

Burial after anatomical studies.

12

An authorized person to whom a body has been delivered under this Act shall cause the remains of the body, after scientific or instructional requirements have been fulfilled, to be properly buried, or may deliver it to any person for that purpose.

Possession of body or parts for anatomical studies.

13

With the approval of the person in charge of the Department of Anatomy of the faculty of Medicine or the Department of Anatomy of the Faculty of Dentistry of the university to whom the body has been delivered

(a) a member of the staff or a duly qualified medical student or dental student of the university; or

(b) a duly qualified medical practitioner or a registered dentist; or

(c) any other person or institution, carrying on anatomical or scientific study, research, inquiry, or teaching;

may have the body or parts thereof in his or its possession for anatomical or other scientific instruction or requirements.

No trafficking in dead bodies.

14(1)

No person shall sell, buy, or traffic in, the bodies of dead persons, or otherwise acquire them except as authorized by this Act.

Unless authorized in writing to do so by the minister.

14(2)

No person shall take or send, or employ, authorize, cause, or permit, any other person to take or send, the body of a dead person obtained by him under this Act, or any part thereof, out of the province for anatomical or other scientific instruction or requirements, unless authorized in writing to do so by the minister.

Notice to relatives.

15

Every superintendent or other head of any hospital or other institution, following the death of any person in the hospital or institution, shall immediately and diligently endeavour to find a preferred claimant therefor, and shall immediately give or send a notice of the death to any such preferred claimant so found.

Death of a person in an institution.

16(1)

Where a body

(a) is that of a person who dies, or is found dead, in a hospital or other institution; or

(b) is under the charge or control of an undertaker, medical examiner, physician, or other person;

if

(c) the body is not claimed immediately by a preferred claimant; or

(d) the superintendent or other head of the hospital or institution, or the person in charge or control of the body as aforesaid, is of the opinion that the body will not be so claimed;

the superintendent or other head, or the person in such charge or control, shall immediately give notice of the death to the inspector, or to the subinspector of the division or section in which the death occurred; and shall, within 24 hours after the death, send by mail or deliver a written notice thereof, signed by him, to the inspector or subinspector.

Contents of notice.

16(2)

A written notice given to the inspector or to a sub-inspector under subsection (1) shall set forth, so far as known to the person giving the notice, the name in full, sex, age, marital status, religion, birthplace, nationality, occupation, place and date of death, and the disease or other cause of death, of the deceased.

Notice from sub-inspector to inspector.

16(3)

Where a notice is received by a subinspector under this section he shall immediately forward a copy of the notice to the inspector.

Body to be held subject to directions of inspector.

17(1)

Every sub-inspector having control of a body of a dead person shall hold the body, unless it is claimed under this Act, subject to the directions of the inspector.

Safe and proper keeping of body.

17(2)

Every sub-inspector shall make, or cause to be made, all arrangements necessary for the safe and proper keeping of every body under his control and, if so directed by the inspector, for the burial or interment of the body in accordance with section 20.

Notice to university.

18(1)

On receipt of a notice as provided in section 16, the inspector shall immediately give notice of the death of the person, and of all facts reported to him, to the university.

Notice by university.

18(2)

On receipt of notice under subsection (1), the university shall, within 24 hours of the receipt of the notice, notify the inspector whether or not the body is required by the university for purposes of anatomical or other scientific instruction or requirements.

Delivery of body to university.

19

Where a body is required by an authorized person, if the body remains unclaimed as provided in subsection 6(1), the inspector shall deliver the body to the authorized person for the purposes of anatomical or other scientific instruction or requirements; and the authorized person shall make all arrangements necessary for the immediate transportation and subsequent care of the body.

Delivery of body not required for anatomical studies.

20(1)

Where a body is not required by an authorized person and remains unclaimed, the inspector shall immediately notify the authority responsible for the burial of unclaimed bodies of those facts.

Delivery of body to authority.

20(2)

Upon receipt of a notice under subsection (1), the authority responsible for burial of unclaimed bodies of deceased persons shall take delivery of, and arrange for the proper burial of the body.

Receipt for body following delivery by inspector.

21

An authorized person, or an authority responsible for the burial of unclaimed bodies, shall, at the time of taking delivery of a body, execute and deliver to the person in whose custody the body was at the time of delivery, a receipt therefore, which shall set out that the body is taken,

(a) solely for the purpose of anatomical or other scientific instruction or requirements; or

(b) for the purpose of proper burial.

Inspector to file certificate with the Director of Vital Statistics.

22

Where a body of a deceased person has been delivered to an authorized person, the inspector shall, within 48 hours of the delivery, send to the Director of Vital Statistics a certificate under his hand setting out the particulars of death and of the delivery of the body to the authorized person.

Current returns to minister.

23

The inspector shall annually on or before March 1 in each year, make a general report of his operations to the minister.

Regulations.

24

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,

(a) requiring reports of bodies disposed of under this Act to be submitted;

(b) prescribing the form and disposition of records, notices, and other forms or documents, required under this Act or the regulations;

(c) prescribing the conditions upon which bodies are to be delivered, kept, and disposed of;

(d) authorizing inspections to be made of any premises in which bodies are stored or used for the purpose of dissection;

(e) prescribing the fees to be paid to the inspector or sub-inspector;

(f) as to the institutions or persons to whom bodies not required by the university shall be delivered and as to the manner in which such bodies may otherwise be disposed of; and

(g) generally for the purpose of carrying into effect this Act.

Penalties.

25

A person who violates any provision of this Act or of any regulation made hereunder is guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of not less than $50. and not more than $100.