SB 1139 Revises the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act
Sponsor: Dempsey Co-Sponsor(s)
LR Number: 5024S.03T Fiscal Note: 5024-03
Committee: Financial & Governmental Organizations and Elections
Last Action: 7/10/2008 - Signed by Governor Journal Page:
Title: SCS SB 1139 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2008
House Handler: Stevenson

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Current Bill Summary


SCS/SB 1139 - This act revises the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.

The Department of Health and Senior Services shall establish a first person consent organ and tissue donor registry. Any individual who agrees to have his or her name in the registry has given full legal consent to the donation of any of his or her organs or tissues upon death and as recorded in the registry. An individual may withdraw consent to be listed in the registry. The department and the Department of Revenue shall advise the individual that he or she is under no obligation to have his or her name in the registry. This act also encourages and establishes standards for donor registries.

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 who are of age to apply for a driver's permit or license are allowed 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 and the decedent’s adult grandchildren.

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 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 or cadaver 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 a 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. The procedure for delivering the body or for removing a part from the body for purposes for transplantation, therapy, research, or education are prescribed under the act.

A person who acts in accordance with the provisions of Missouri's Uniform Anatomical Gift Act or with the applicable anatomical gift law of another state, so long as it is not inconsistent with the provisions of Missouri's anatomical gift law, or attempts without negligence and in good faith to do so, is not liable for the act in any civil action, criminal or administrative proceeding.

This act also amends current law regarding procedures for coroners and medical examiners as to the transferring of bodies from one county to another, designating death certificates, notification and investigation responsibilities, and determining which county should be considered the place of death. The place where the person is determined to be dead shall be considered the place of death.

In addition, current law regarding coroners and medical examiners was amended to specify 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.

Under current law, a person may grant the right of sepulcher to any person as long as the designation is made in a written instrument meeting certain qualifications under current law, however, such a designation will not supersede the rights of the deceased's spouse or certain family members. This act deletes the provisions of law allowing for such a designation, and instead provides that an attorney in fact designated in a durable power of attorney that specifically grants the right of sepulcher shall have first priority for the purposes of determining who has the right to choose and control the burial, cremation, or other final disposition of the deceased designee's body.

This act is similar to SB 496 (2007) and SB 1025 (2008).

ADRIANE CROUSE