Bill On Beacon Hill Would Open Records Of Institutionalized


BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A new bill in the state legislature would help open up burial records for families who had members sent to state institutions that used to house those with intellectual disabilities.

Some state institutions, like the Fernald School in Waltham, buried their charges in unmarked graves when they died.

David Scott, one such family member, says he never really knew his brother John. John was born disabled but taken away by the state and committed to the Fernald school, where he died. John was eventually buried in the Metfern Cemetary in Waltham, in a grave marked only with a number and a "P" or "C" for "Protestant" or "Catholic."

"He was my brother. He goes unnoticed.. and I wouldn't want that for anybody," Scott said.

Scott had to jump through significant hoops to get access to his brother's grave, and only found the site after being helped by a group of advocates. Others would need to go to court to prove they're next-of-kin.

But the bill before the legislature would make it easier for him to get those records.

WBZ's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports:

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(Photo: Getty Images)


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