Direct Cremate

Can a Crematorium Refuse to Provide Services?

Can a crematorium refuse to provide services for someone? Read more to learn if refusal is possible, and why a funeral home would deny service.
When Can a Crematorium Refuse to Provide Services?
When Can a Crematorium Refuse to Provide Services?

Finding a funeral home is a daunting, emotional process for most people. So imagine how disheartening it is if you find a crematorium you want to use only to be denied services. It’s a rare occurrence, but it can happen. Here are some of the reasons why a crematorium may refuse to provide services. 

Refusal Due to Cancer Treatments

Cancer treatments are one of the most common reasons why a crematorium will choose not to perform a cremation. There are certain situations when cancer treatments can pose a risk to the crematorium and its employees. The concern is with radiation therapy. 

Because of the risk of exposure and contamination, typically a person can’t be cremated if they received radiopharmaceuticals within 12 days of dying. And if the person had a radiation oncology implant cremation may not be possible if it was implanted less than two years ago. Generally, external beam radiation treatments won’t pose a threat at all. 

Refusal Because the Deceased Had Ebola 

There are also medical conditions that can prevent a cremation from occurring. Chief among them is ebola. The disease is so highly contagious that some crematoriums may choose not to handle the body. At one time most crematoriums refused to handle the body of the deceased if they died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a prion disease that is rare but fatal. However, we now know that funeral home workers aren’t at as high a risk of contracting CJD as once thought so it isn’t a problem at some crematoriums.  

Disputes Over Rights to Disposition

If there is any question as to who has the right of disposition, then the funeral home will likely refuse to perform a cremation. It’s simply too much of a legal liability for the crematorium. In most cases, the funeral home will help you out if you can provide something in writing that explicitly states who legally gets to choose the form of disposition. 

Refusal Because the Family Doesn’t Have the Proper Paperwork

There are a lot of rules and regulations around cremating a body. The crematorium must have all of the required paperwork, such as a cremation authorization form and signed death certificate, to legally perform a cremation. If you don’t have the proper paperwork, then the crematorium can refuse to provide services. 

Impractical or Impossible Requests

If you have special requests, most crematoriums will work to accommodate them. But if the requests are considered impractical or impossible because the funeral home isn’t equipped to handle the request, then there’s a good chance they will refer you to another crematorium. 

Refusal Because of Non-Payment

No crematorium is going to move forward with services if they haven’t received full payment. Even if you’ve signed the contract, that’s not a guarantee that the cremation will be carried out. It’s really an agreement that you will pay the crematorium for specific services

Scheduling Conflicts

A crematorium can only perform so many cremations in a day depending on the number of retorts at their facility. You may find that your crematorium of choice is simply too busy to perform the cremation if you want it done as soon as possible or they don’t have the resources to preserve the body until the cremation can be performed. 

At Direct Cremate we welcome all families and will work with you to overcome cremation barriers like obtaining the proper paperwork. Give us a call or text any time to get help arranging a cremation.