There are many legal considerations for organ donors, although most people do not consider these factors when they are deciding whether to put the “donor” sticker on their driver’s license. This is one of the reasons why individuals outline a Living Will and establish an Advanced Health Care Directive. These legal arrangements ensure that all personal wishes are adhered to if the individual is incapacitated or passes away. If you have not considered your thoughts on organ donation, it’s about time you did so. It’s an important issue to plan for.
Understanding the Legal Issues for Organ Donors
These are just a few of the issues, laws, regulations, resources and other concerns associated with the process of organ donation in the United States:
Donor Registration – Each state is legally entitled to establish its own donor registry, according to the Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act of 2006. An agency in your state should have a registry site where you can visit and explain your anatomical wishes.
Family Member Consent – Section 9 of the Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act of 2006 establishes that adult children, adult siblings, grandparents, parents and spouses are permitted to donate organs on an individual’s behalf if they die, even if they did not become an organ donor during life.
Life Support – There are specific issues related to life support with organ donation, such as in the case when individuals reject life support, even if life support would help save the organs so they could be donated.
Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act of 2006 – As mentioned earlier, the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act was revised in 2006. The National Conference of Commissioners on State Laws sponsored the revision in order to streamline the organ donation process across the country.
Revocation Issues – Once an individual decides to donate his or her organs, only he or she can revoke that decision, according to section 10 of the Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act of 2006. Even family members cannot revoke this decision.
Why It’s so Important to Have a Living Will
Establishing a Living Will ensures that these important plans are set and only you can make changes to your organ donation plan in the future. A legal professional can explain these issues so you can make an informed decision and create a will so your wishes are respected. You may also decide to appoint a trustworthy individual with Health Care Power of Attorney rights.
For assistance with the creation of a Living Will, please contact us at (866) 493-5400 to schedule a complimentary, initial consultation with one of our legal professionals.