Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 8. Postmortem Examinations and Services
12/1/2021

§ 32.1-291.23. Facilitation of anatomical gift from decedent whose body is under jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

A. Upon request of a procurement organization, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner shall release to the procurement organization the name, contact information, and available medical and social history of a decedent whose body is under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. If the decedent's body or part is medically suitable for transplantation, therapy, research, or education, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner shall release postmortem examination results to the procurement organization. The procurement organization may make a subsequent disclosure of the postmortem examination results or other information received from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner only if relevant to transplantation, therapy, research, or education.

B. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner may conduct a medicolegal investigation by reviewing all medical records, laboratory test results, x-rays, other diagnostic results, and other information that any person possesses about a donor or prospective donor whose body is under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

C. A person that has any information requested by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner pursuant to subsection B shall provide that information as expeditiously as possible to allow the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to conduct the medicolegal investigation within a period compatible with the preservation of parts for the purpose of transplantation, therapy, research, or education.

D. If an anatomical gift has been or might be made of a part of a decedent whose body is under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and a postmortem examination is not required, or the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determines that a postmortem examination is required but that the recovery of the part that is the subject of an anatomical gift will not interfere with the examination, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and procurement organization shall cooperate in the timely removal of the part from the decedent for the purpose of transplantation, therapy, research, or education.

E. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and procurement organizations shall enter into an agreement setting forth protocols and procedures to govern relations between the parties when an anatomical gift of a part from a decedent under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has been or might be made, but the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner believes that the recovery of the part could interfere with the postmortem investigation into the decedent's cause or manner of death. Decisions regarding the recovery of organs, tissue and eyes from such a decedent shall be made in accordance with the agreement. In the event that an Assistant Chief Medical Examiner denies recovery of an anatomical gift, the procurement organization may request the Chief Medical Examiner to reconsider the denial and to permit the recovery to proceed. The parties shall evaluate the effectiveness of the protocols and procedures at regular intervals but no less frequently than every two years.

F. If the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner allows recovery of a part under subsection D or E, the procurement organization, upon request, shall cause the physician or technician who removes the part to provide the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner with a record describing the condition of the part, a biopsy, a photograph, and any other information and observations that would assist in the postmortem examination.

G. If the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is required to be present at a removal procedure under subsection E, upon request the procurement organization requesting the recovery of the part shall reimburse the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the additional costs incurred in complying with subsection E.

2007, cc. 92, 907; 2014, c. 583.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.