CHAPTER 445

AN ACT RELATING TO UNIFORM ANATOMICAL GIFT ACT.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Sections 1780 through 1788, Title 24, Delaware Code, are repealed in their entirety.

Section 2. Chapter 7, Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new "Subchapter VII" to read as follows:

SUBCHAPTER VII. UNIFORM ANATOMICAL GIFT ACT.

§ 1780. Definitions

As used in this Subchapter —

(a) "Bank or storage facility" means a facility licensed, accredited or approved under the laws of any state for storage of human bodies or parts thereof.

(b) "Decedent" means a deceased individual and includes a stillborn infant or fetus.

(c) "Donor" means an individual who makes a gift of all or part of his body.

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

(e) "Part" includes organs, tissues, eyes, bones, arteries, blood, other fluids and other portions of a human body, and "part" includes "parts".

(f) "Person" means an individual, corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association or any other legal entity.

(g) "Physician" or "surgeon" means a physician or surgeon licensed or authorized to practice under the laws of any state.

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

§ 1781. Persons who may execute an anatomical gift

(a) Any individual of sound mind and 18 years of age or more may give all or any part of his body for any purposes specified in Section 1782, the gift to take effect upon death.

(b) Any of the following persons, in order of priority stated, 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, may give all or any part of the decedent's body for any purpose specified in Section 1782:

(1) the spouse;

(2) an adult son or daughter, 18 years of age or older;

(3) either parent;

(4) an adult brother or sister;

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

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

(c) 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 shall not accept the gift. The persons authorized by this subsection (b) may make the gift after death or immediately before death.

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

(e) The rights of the donee created by the gift are paramount to the rights of others except as provided by Section 1786 (e).

§ 1782. Persons who may become donees, and purposes for which anatomical gifts may be made

The following persons may become donees of gifts of bodies or parts thereof for the purposes stated:

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

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

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

(4) any specified individual for therapy or transplantation needed by him.

§ 1783. Manner of executing anatomical gifts

(a) A gift of all or part of the body under Section 1781 (a) may be made by will. The gift becomes effective upon the death of the testator without waiting for probate. If the will is not probated, or if it is declared invalid for testamentary purposes, the gift, to the extent that it has been acted upon in good faith, is nevertheless valid and effective.

(b) A gift of all or part of the body under Section 1781 (a) may also be made by document other than a will. The gift becomes effective upon the death of the donor. The document, which may be a card designed to be carried on the person, must be signed by the donor, in the presence of two witnesses who need not be in the presence of each other but who must sign the document in his presence. If the donor cannot sign, the document may be signed for him at his direction and in his presence, and in the presence of two witnesses who must sign the document in his presence. Delivery of the document of gift during the donor's lifetime is not necessary to make the gift valid.

(c) The gift may be made to a specified donee or without specifying a donee. If the latter, the gift may be accepted by the attending physician as donee upon or following 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 expressed indication that the donor desired otherwise, may accept the gift as donee. The physician who becomes a donee under this subsection shall not participate in the procedures for removing or transplanting a part.

(d) Notwithstanding Section 1786 (b), the donor may designate in his will, card or other document of gift the surgeon or physician to carry out the appropriate procedures. 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 or physician for the purpose.

(e) Any gift by a person designated in Section 1781 (b) shall be made by a document signed by him, or made by his telegraphic, recorded, telephonic or other recorded message.

(f) A person who so directs the manner in which his body or any part of his body shall be disposed of shall receive no remuneration or other thing of value for such disposition.

§ 1784. 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 thereof, may be delivered to the donee to expedite the appropriate procedures immediately after death, but delivery is not necessary to the validity of the gift. The will, card or other document, or an executed copy thereof, may be deposited in any hospital, bank or storage facility or registry office that accepts them for safekeeping or for facilitation of procedures after death. On request of any interested party upon or after the donor's death, the person in possession shall produce the document for examination.

§ 1785. Amendment or revocation of the gift

(a) If the will, card or other document or executed copy thereof has been 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; or

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

(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 his person or in his effects.

(b) Any document of gift which has not been delivered to the donee may be revoked by the donor in the manner set in subsection (a) or by destruction, cancellation, or mutilation of the document and all executed copies thereof.

(c) Any gift made by a will may also be amended or revoked in the manner provided for amendment or revocation of wills, or as provided in subsection (a).

§ 1786. Rights and duties at death

(a) The donee may accept or reject the gift. If the donee accepts a gift of the entire body, he 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 prior to embalming, shall cause the part to be removed without unnecessary mutilation. After removal of the part, custody of the remainder of the body vests in the surviving spouse, next of kin or other persons under obligation to dispose of the body. The heir of any donor, at the time the disposition of the body takes place, may submit a request in writing to the donee that the body be returned to the heir at such time as the donee either refuses the disposition of the entire body or the parts thereof or determines that he no longer has use of the remains.

() The time of death shall be determined by a physician who attends the donor at his death, or, if none, the physician who certifies the death. This physician shall not participate in the procedures for removing or transplanting a part.

(a) A person who acts in good faith in accord with the terms of this Act, or under the anatomical gift laws of another state (or a foreign country) is not liable for damages in any civil action or subject to prosecution in any criminal proceeding for his act.

(b) Where no other provision for the same exist, a body, or the remains thereof, after it is no longer needed for the purpose indicated by the donor, may be buried at public expense, on order of the Medical Council of Delaware, but in no case shall the expense of the burial exceed $100.

(e) The provisions of this Act are subject to the laws of this State prescribing powers and duties with respect to autopsies.

§ 1787. Uniformity of interpretation

This Act shall be so construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states which enact it.

§ 1788. Short title

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

§ 1789. Forms

The following forms may be used to accomplish the purposes of this Act:

Anatomical Gift by Next of Kin or Other Authorized Person

I, hereby make this anatomical gift of or from the body of

who died on

at the in . The marks in the appropriate squares and the words filled into the blanks below indicate my relationship to the deceased and my desires respecting the gift.

I am the surviving: __ spouse; __ adult son or daughter; __ parent; __ adult brother or sister; __ guardian; __ , authorized to dispose of the body:

I give __ the body of deceased; __ any needed organs or parts; __ the following organs or parts

To the following person (or institution) (insert the name of a physician, hospital, research or educational institution, storage bank or individual), for the following purposes: __ any purpose authorized by law; __ transplantation; __ therapy; __ research; __ medical education.

Dated City and State

Signature of Survivor

Address of Survivor

Anatomical Gift by a Living Donor

I am of sound mind and 18 years or more of age.

I hereby make this anatomical gift to take effect upon my death. The marks in the appropriate squares and words filled into the blanks below indicate my desires.

I give: __ my body; __ any needed organs or parts; __ the following organs or parts ;

To the following person (or institution: __ the physician in attendance at my death; __ the hospital in which I die; __ the following named physician, hospital, storage bank or other medical institution ______; __ the following individual for treatment ____________;

for the following purposes: __ any purpose authorized by law; __ transplantation; __ therapy; __ research; __ medical education.

Dated City and State

Signed by the Donor in the presence of the following who sign as witnesses.

Signature of Donor

Witness

Address of Donor

Witness

Approved May 20, 1970.