Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 8. Postmortem Examinations and Services
10/23/2019

§ 32.1-291.14. Rights and duties of procurement organization and others.

A. When a hospital refers an individual who is dead or whose death is imminent to a procurement organization, the organization shall make a reasonable search of the records of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and any donor registry that it knows exists for the geographical area in which the individual resides to ascertain whether the individual has made an anatomical gift.

B. A procurement organization shall be allowed reasonable access to information in the records of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to ascertain whether an individual who is dead or whose death is imminent is a donor.

C. When a hospital refers an individual who is dead or whose death is imminent to a procurement organization, the organization may conduct any reasonable examination necessary to ensure the medical suitability of a part that is or could be the subject of an anatomical gift for transplantation, therapy, research, or education from a donor or a prospective donor. During the examination period, measures necessary to ensure the medical suitability of the part may not be withdrawn unless the hospital or procurement organization knows that the individual expressed a contrary intent.

D. Unless prohibited by law other than this Act, at any time after a donor's death, the person to which a part passes under § 32.1-291.11 may conduct any reasonable examination necessary to ensure the medical suitability of the body or part for its intended purpose.

E. Unless prohibited by law other than this Act, an examination under subsection C or D may include an examination of all medical and dental records of the donor or prospective donor.

F. Upon the death of a minor who was a donor or had signed a refusal, unless a procurement organization knows the minor is emancipated, the procurement organization shall conduct a reasonable search for the parents of the minor and provide the parents with an opportunity to revoke or amend the anatomical gift or revoke the refusal.

G. Upon referral by a hospital under subsection A, a procurement organization shall make a reasonable search for any person listed in § 32.1-291.9 having priority to make an anatomical gift on behalf of a prospective donor. If a procurement organization receives information that an anatomical gift to any other person was made, amended, or revoked, it shall promptly advise the other person of all relevant information.

H. Subject to subsection I of § 32.1-291.11 and § 32.1-291.23, the rights of the person to which a part passes under § 32.1-291.11 are superior to the rights of all others with respect to the part. The person may accept or reject an anatomical gift in whole or in part. Subject to the terms of the document of gift and this Act, a person that accepts an anatomical gift of an entire body may allow embalming, burial or cremation, and use of remains in a funeral service. If the gift is of a part, the person to which the part passes under § 32.1-291.11, upon the death of the donor and before embalming, burial, or cremation, shall cause the part to be removed without unnecessary mutilation.

I. Neither the physician who attends the decedent at death nor the physician who determines the time of the decedent's death may participate in the procedures for removing or transplanting a part from the decedent.

J. A donated part from the body of a donor may be removed only by a physician or technician. The physician or technician performing the removal shall be qualified to remove the donated part from the body. For the purposes of this section, "qualified" means:

1. If the part is an organ, a physician or technician who is authorized by the appropriate organ procurement organization;

2. If the part is an eye, a physician or technician who is approved by an eye bank as qualified to perform the act of eye recovery; or

3. If the part is tissue, any physician or technician who is approved by LifeNet as qualified to perform the act of tissue recovery.

An organ procurement organization may screen, test, and recover eyes and tissue on behalf of an eye bank or tissue bank. Any person authorized by this subsection to recover organs, tissues or eyes may draw blood from the donor and order such tests as may be appropriate to protect his health and the health of the recipients of the organs, tissues or eyes.

2007, cc. 92, 907.

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.