Uniform anatomical gift act sec. 13. 50. 010. Persons who may execute an anatomical gift



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Chapter 13.50. UNIFORM ANATOMICAL GIFT ACT

Sec. 13.50.010. Persons who may execute an anatomical gift.

(a) A competent person who is 18 or more years of age may make a gift to take effect upon death of all or a part of the person's body for a purpose specified in AS 13.50.020 .

(b) When persons in prior classes are not available at the time of death, and in the absence of actual notice of contrary indications by the decedent or actual notice of opposition by a member of the same or a prior class, any of the following persons, in order of priority listed, may give all or a part of the decedent's body for a purpose specified in AS 13.50.020 :

(1) the spouse;

(2) an adult son or daughter;

(3) either parent;

(4) an adult brother or sister;

(5) a guardian of the decedent at the time of death;

(6) any other person authorized or under obligation to dispose of the body.

(c) The persons authorized by (b) of this section may make the gift after or immediately before death.

(d) If the donee has actual notice of contrary indications by the decedent or that a gift by a member of a class is opposed by a member of the same or a prior class, the donee may not accept the gift. However, an anatomical gift that is not revoked by the donor before death is irrevocable and does not require the consent or concurrence of any person after the donor's death.

(e) A gift of all or a part of a body authorizes any examination necessary to assure medical acceptability of the gift for the purposes intended.

(f) The rights of the donee created by the gift are superior to the rights of others except as provided in AS 13.50.060 (d).

Sec. 13.50.014. Requests by hospitals for anatomical gifts.

(a) When a person dies in a hospital or is pronounced dead after arriving at a hospital, the administrator or a designated employee shall make a reasonable search for a document of gift or other information identifying the bearer as a donor or as an individual who has refused to make an anatomical gift. The administrator or employee shall request a gift under AS 13.50.010 (b), unless the administrator or employee knows that the person has executed a gift. Failure to make a reasonable search required under this subsection is not a basis for civil or criminal liability but may be the basis for appropriate administrative sanctions under regulations of the Department of Health and Social Services, the State Medical Board, or private hospital accrediting organizations.

(b) Each hospital in the state shall develop procedures for identifying potential donors of gifts, requesting gifts, notifying and coordinating with eye banks, tissue banks, and organ procurement agencies, and assisting in the procurement, removal, storage, and transportation of gifts. The procedures must specify the circumstances under which it is inappropriate to request a gift, such as if the gift is unsuitable, if the request is likely to offend the donor's religious beliefs, of if asked to make the request is likely to cause undue emotional distress to the person who would be making the gift. The procedures must encourage reasonable discretion and sensitivity.

(c) The commissioner of health and social services shall exempt from the requirements of (a) and (b) of this section a hospital that lacks the means to properly remove, store, or transport gifts. However, a hospital exempted under this subsection shall make reasonable efforts to contact a donor bank if a deceased person at the hospital has consented to an anatomical gift.



Sec. 13.50.016. Investigations by law enforcement and medical personnel.

(a) Law enforcement or medical personnel who respond to the scene of an accident or emergency involving the death of a person shall make a reasonable search for a document of gift or other information identifying the bearer as a donor or as an individual who has refused to make an anatomical gift. If the law enforcement or medical personnel know that the person executed a gift, they shall inform appropriate hospital personnel of the gift. Failure to make a reasonable search required under this subsection is not a basis for civil or criminal liability but may be the basis for appropriate disciplinary sanctions.

(b) The requirements of this section do not apply to law enforcement or medical personnel who respond to the scene of an accident or emergency in an area where all hospitals within a reasonable distance have been exempted under AS 13.50.014 (c) from the requirements of AS 13.50.014.

Sec. 13.50.020. Potential donees and purposes for which anatomical gifts may be made.

The following persons may become donees of gifts of a decedent's body or a part of a decedent's body for the purposes stated:

(1) a hospital, surgeon, or physician, for medical or dental education, research, advancement of medical or dental science, therapy, or transplantation;

(2) an accredited medical or dental school, college or university for education, research, advancement of medical or dental science, or therapy;

(3) a bank or storage facility, for medical or dental education, research, advancement of medical or dental science, therapy, or transplantation; or

(4) a specified individual for therapy or transplantation needed by the individual.



Sec. 13.50.030. Manner of executing anatomical gifts.

(a) A gift of all or a part of the body under AS 13.50.010 (a) may be made by will. The gift takes effect upon the death of the testator before probate. If the will is not probated, or is declared invalid for testamentary purposes, the gift, to the extent that it has been acted upon in good faith, is valid and effective.

(b) A gift of all or a part of the body under AS 13.50.010 (a) may be made by a document other than a will, and including a declaration under AS 18.12. The gift takes effect upon the death of the donor. The document, which may be a card designed to be carried on the person, shall be signed by the donor, or another person at the donor's direction. If signed by another person at the donor's direction, the signer shall sign in the presence of two persons or a person who is qualified to take acknowledgments under AS 09.63.010 . Delivery of the document of gift during the donor's lifetime is not necessary to make the gift valid.

(c) A gift may be made to a specified donee or without specifying a donee. If a donee is not specified, the gift may be accepted by the attending physician as donee upon or after death. If the gift is made to a specified donee who is not available at the time and place of death, the attending physician upon or following death, in the absence of any express indication that the donor desired otherwise, may accept the gift as donee.

(d) The donor may designate in a will, card, or other document of gift, including a declaration under AS 18.12, the surgeon or physician to carry out the appropriate procedure for removing or transplanting a part of the decedent's body. In the absence of a designation or if the designee is not available, the donee or other person authorized to accept the gift may employ or authorize any surgeon, any physician, or any appropriate Alaska organ or tissue bank, for the purpose of removing or transplanting a part of the decedent's body.

(e) A gift by a person designated in AS 13.50.010 (b) shall be made by a document signed by the person or made by the person's telegraphic, recorded telephonic, or other recorded message.

(f) A gift may, but need not be, in the following form:

In the event of my death, I donate the following part(s) of my body for the purposes identified in AS 13.50.020 :

Tissue:

________ Eyes

________ Bone and connective tissue

________ Skin

________ Heart

________ Other: ________

Limitations: ________

Organ:


________ Heart

________ Kidney(s)

________ Liver

________ Lung(s)

________ Pancreas

Other: ________.

I designate (name of surgeon or physician) to carry out the appropriate procedure(s) for removing or transplanting the body part(s) identified above.

Sec. 13.50.040. Delivery of document of gift.

If the gift is made by the donor to a specified donee, the will, card, or other document, or an executed copy of it, may be delivered to the donee to expedite the appropriate procedure for removing or transplanting a part of the decedent's body immediately after death. Delivery is not necessary for a valid gift. The will, card, or other document, or an executed copy of it, may be deposited in a hospital, bank or storage facility, or registry office to facilitate the procedure for removing or transplanting a part of the decedent's body after death. On the request of any interested person upon or after the donor's death, the person in possession of the document shall produce the document for examination.



Sec. 13.50.050. Amendment or revocation of the gift.

(a) If the will, card, or other document or executed copy of it is delivered to a specified donee, the donor may amend or revoke the gift by

(1) the execution and delivery to the donee of a signed statement;

(2) an oral statement made in the presence of two persons and communicated to the donee;

(3) a statement during a terminal illness or injury addressed to an attending physician and communicated to the donee; or

(4) a signed card or document found on the donor's person or in the donor's effects.

(b) A document of gift which is not delivered to the donee may be revoked by the donor as provided in (a) of this section or by destruction, cancellation, or mutilation of the document and all executed copies of it.

(c) A gift made by a will may be amended or revoked in the manner provided for amendment or revocation of wills or as provided in (a) of this section.

(d) A gift made in a declaration under AS 18.12 may be amended as provided in (a) of this section, and may be revoked as provided in AS 18.12.020(a) or in (a) of this section.

Sec. 13.50.060. Rights and duties at death; exemption from liability and prosecution.

(a) The donee may accept or reject the gift. If the donee accepts a gift of the entire body, the donee may, subject to the terms of the gift, authorize embalming and the use of the body in funeral services. If the gift is of a part of the body, the donee, upon the death of the donor and before embalming shall have the part removed without unnecessary mutilation. After removal of the part of the body, custody of the remainder of the body vests in the surviving spouse, next of kin, or a person other than the spouse or next of kin who is authorized to dispose of the body. A person described in AS 13.50.010 (b) and the estate of the donor may not be held liable for the cost of an examination under AS 13.50.010 (e) or any costs related to the removal, storage, or transportation of a gift.

(b) The time of death shall be determined by a physician who attends the donor at death, or, if no physician attends, by the physician who certifies the death. The physician may not participate in the procedures for removing or transplanting a part of the body, except as provided in AS 13.50.030 (d).

(c) A hospital, physician, surgeon, technician, or other person who acts in good faith in accordance with the terms of this chapter or the anatomical gift laws of another state or country or attempts in good faith to do so is not liable for damages for the act or the attempt in a civil action or subject to prosecution in a criminal proceeding for the act or the attempt.

(d) The provisions of this chapter are subject to the state autopsy laws under AS 12.65.

Sec. 13.50.065. Regulations.

The commissioner of health and social services shall adopt regulations for the appropriate training of hospital employees who are designated under AS 13.50.014 to request gifts and for the implementation of this chapter.



Sec. 13.50.068. Recognition of gifts executed, issued, or authorized in other states.

A gift executed, issued, or authorized in another state or a territory or possession of the United States in compliance with the law of that jurisdiction is effective for the purposes of this chapter.



Sec. 13.50.070. Definitions.

In this chapter

(1) "bank or storage facility" means a facility licensed, accredited, or approved under the laws of any state for storage of human bodies or parts of them;

(2) "decedent" means a deceased individual, stillborn infant, or fetus;

(3) "donor" means an individual who makes a gift of all or a part of the individual's body;

(4) "gift" means an anatomical gift of all or part of a person's body;

(5) "hospital" means a hospital licensed, accredited, or approved under the laws of any state; or a hospital operated by the United States government, or a subdivision thereof, although not required to be licensed under state laws;

(6) "part" means organs, tissues, eyes, bones, arteries, blood, other fluids and any other portions of a human body;

(7) "physician" or "surgeon" means a physician or surgeon licensed or authorized to practice under the laws of any state;

(8) "state" includes any state, district, commonwealth, territory, insular possession, and any other area subject to the legislative authority of the United States.



Sec. 13.50.080. Uniformity of interpretation.

This chapter shall be construed and interpreted so as to carry out its general purpose to make uniform the laws in those states which enact it.



Sec. 13.50.090. Short title.

This chapter may be cited as the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.


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