(INDIANAPOLIS) – Coroners in Indiana could soon have a new way to identify bodies.
Currently, they use fingerprints, DNA, and dental records along with family members to ID someone found dead.
House Bill 1084 would add the tracking numbers on surgical implants to the list of methods coroners use to identify bodies.
The bill has already passed a public health committee and is moving on to the full House.
Every piece of equipment has a number that is tied to the patient, whether a cornea, pacemaker or a different medical device.
The bill was authored by Rep. Alan Morrison, R-Terre Haute, but Rep. Ron Bacon, R-Chandler, was recently added as a co-author, based on his experience as the Warrick County Coroner.
“An implant is a very individualized piece of equipment that is placed in a human body,” Bacon, who spent six years as a coroner said.
As it stands now, coroners can use surgical implants to help find out who somebody is, but it doesn’t “count” as identifying them, he added.
The bill was assigned to the committee on public health, where it passed, 12-0. It will move on to the full House.