SB 496
Revises the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act
LR Number:
Last Action:
4/26/2007 - Referred H Health Care Policy Committee
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2007

Current Bill Summary

SS/SCS/SB 496 - This act revises the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. This act facilitates donations by expanding the list of those who may make an anatomical gift for another individual during that individual's lifetime to include healthcare agents and under some circumstances, parents or guardians. Minors at least sixteen years of age are permitted to agree to donate an organ with parental consent noted on a donor card, application, driver's license or other gift document.

This act also facilitates donations from a deceased individual who made no lifetime choice by adding to the list of persons who can make a gift of the deceased individual's body or parts. Such persons added to the list include: the person who was acting as the decedent's agent under a power of attorney for healthcare at the time of the decedent's death, the decedent’s adult grandchildren, and an adult who exhibited special care and concern for the decedent.

This act also permits an anatomical gift by any member of a class where there is more than one person in the class so long as no objections by other class members are known and, if an objection is known, permits a majority of the members of the class who are reasonably available to make the gift without having to take account of a known objection by any class member who is not reasonably available.

Numerous default rules for the interpretation of a gift document are added for those documents lacking specificity regarding either the persons to receive the gift or the purpose of the gift or both. This act encourages and establishes standards for donor registries. This act provides that anatomical gifts made under the laws of other jurisdictions shall be recognized. Allowances are made for electronic records and signatures with respect to gift donations and consent.

This act provides for the donation of specific anatomical parts to named persons and more generally to eye banks, tissue banks, and organ procurement organizations. This act also outlines a priority for transplantation or therapy over research or education when an anatomical gift is made for all four purposes in a gift document that fails to establish a priority. Criminal sanctions are added for falsifying the making, amending, or revoking of an anatomical gift.

In addition, this act provides that a coroner or medical examiner shall cooperate with an organ procurement organization to maximize the opportunity to recover anatomical gifts for the purpose of transplantation, therapy, research, or education. A procurement organization includes eye banks and tissue banks.

This act also modifies the provisions regarding coroners and medical examiners and specifies the investigation procedures to be used in deaths by homicide, suicide, accident, criminal abortion including those that are self-induced, child fatality, or any unusual or suspicious manner.

A person who acts without negligence and in good faith under the terms of the act or anatomical gift laws of another state or foreign country is not liable for damages in any civil action or subject to prosecution in any criminal proceedings for his or her act. A party claiming another was negligent shall have the burden of proving the claimed negligence.

This act also provides that an attorney-in-fact under a durable power of attorney that expressly refers to granting the right of sepulcher shall be included in the term "next-of-kin" for purposes of determining who has the right to choose and control the burial, cremation, or other final disposition of a dead human body. The act also removes from the term "next-of-kin" any person designated by the deceased to act as such pursuant to a designation of right of sepulcher, and removes provisions that described the designation of such right.

Provisions of this act are similar to SB 659 (2007) and HB 723 (2006).