DNA Banking in the Funeral Home Setting
The last thing many people want to think about is their own mortality, which often leaves their families to deal with funeral planning, expenses and, sometimes, unresolved medical decisions. They turn to you as a resource in their time of grief. As a funeral director, your interaction with families during a time of loss is their last opportunity to preserve a loved one’s DNA.
DNA Banking is the secure preservation and long-term storage of a person’s DNA. The ability to store DNA for future study gives families more time and the opportunity to understand the genetic cause(s) behind their medical condition(s) and the health impact to future generations. Genetic testing is not done at the time of DNA Banking and designated family members have complete authority over banked DNA.
As their navigator you become their resource and their trusted support team. Once a body is cremated or embalmed, DNA cannot be recovered, making you the last opportunity to help these families understand the importance of DNA Banking. The process to bank DNA is simple:
•Inform: We will provide you with free DNA Banking Kits and educational brochures for both Immediate Funeral Planning and Pre-planned Funerals. These brochures can be customized with your funeral home’s name and contact information. DNA Banking is a one time fee of $169. However, you should price the service according to the time you have invested in it and can have the family pay us directly or you can include it as part of your billing.
•Collect: We accept both blood and tissue samples. For blood, we have designed a Funeral Home-specific collection kit, which includes an EDTA blood tube, syringe, and needle. If you’re collecting a tissue sample, we accept any lean muscle tissue measuring ½ in. sq. with a ⅛ thickness. Both specimen types require labeling and proper storage until shipped to us.
•Ship: Blood samples can be shipped back to us using the provided packing material and prepaid return mailing label. Tissue samples need to be mailed back in a freezer box inside a cooler with dry ice. Overnight shipping of tissue is at the family’s expense.
Once the specimen is received all future correspondence with the family will be directly with PreventionGenetics. PreventionGenetics stores banked DNA for a minimum of 50 years. Only the authorized representative(s) may withdraw the DNA or ask it to be genetically tested to give future generations a chance to understand their medical health before it’s too late.
To learn more, grab a coffee and watch our webinar on DNA Banking for Funeral Homes