Solon seeks ban of funeral agents from transacting in hospitals

November 15, 2013 10:13 am 

MANILA, Nov. 15 — A lawmaker is seeking a ban of funeral agents from entering hospitals with the intent of having family members of dying or terminally ill patients signing contracts with them.

Rep. Winnie Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City) sought the ban through House Bill 2320, saying it is an insult to the role of hospitals and the core thrust of medical practice when funeral agents attempt to invade the hospital premises asking or looking for dying or terminally-ill patients to forge a contract with the patients’ immediate family members.

“This is not just morally anachronistic. Hospitals are there to insure that patients come out alive and well, and doctors in the hospitals are likely-minded to keep their patients alive and well as possible,” said Castelo, chairperson of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development.

Castelo noticed a sudden surge of funeral agents going into various hospitals like the Justice Jose Abad Santos Mother and Child Hospital, Ospital ng Tondo, Ospital ng Maynila, Sta. Ana Hospital, Ospital ng Sampaloc and Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center and presumably other hospitals or medical centers in the country in search of prospective clients.

“In fact, former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, previously ordered hospital directors in the city of Manila to ban or prohibit funeral agents from sneaking inside hospital premises especially in search for an immediate family member of a dying or terminally-ill patient and causing this prospective client to sign a contract,” said Castelo.

In HB 2320, Castelo sought the ban of such move or practice of funeral agents, which according to him is in gross violation of the universal goal of every hospital and the medical practice.

The bill now pending at the Committee on Health chaired by Rep. Eufranio Eriguel, M.D. (2nd District, La Union) seeks to mandate the Secretary of Health to issue pertinent rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of the measure.(PNA)

JBP/PR/JSD

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