Substitute Senate Bill No. 1297

Public Act No. 99-120

An Act Concerning Organ Donation.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 19a-279c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any member of the following classes of persons, in the order of priority listed, may make an anatomical gift of all or a part of the decedent's body for an authorized purpose, unless the decedent, before or at the time of death, has made an unrevoked refusal to make that anatomical gift: (1) The spouse of the decedent; (2) an adult son or daughter of the decedent; (3) either parent of the decedent; (4) an adult brother or sister of the decedent; (5) a grandparent of the decedent; [and] (6) a guardian of the person of the decedent at the time of death; (7) any person legally authorized to make health care decisions for the decedent prior to death, including, but not limited to, a health care agent appointed under section 19a-576; and (8) a conservator of the person, as defined in section 45a-644.

(b) An anatomical gift may not be made by a person listed in subsection (a) of this section if: (1) A person in a prior class is available at the time of death to make an anatomical gift; (2) the person proposing to make an anatomical gift knows of a refusal or contrary indications by the decedent; or (3) the person proposing to make an anatomical gift knows of an objection to making an anatomical gift by a member of the person's class or prior class.

(c) An anatomical gift by a person authorized under subsection (a) of this section shall be made by (1) a document of gift signed by the person or (2) the person's telegraphic, recorded telephonic or other recorded message, or other form of communication from the person that is contemporaneously reduced to writing and signed by the recipient.

(d) An anatomical gift by a person authorized under subsection (a) of this section may be revoked by any member of the same or a prior class if, before procedures have begun for the removal of a part from the body of the decedent, the physician, surgeon or technician removing the part knows of the revocation.

(e) A failure to make an anatomical gift under subsection (a) of this section is not an objection to the making of an anatomical gift.

Sec. 2. Section 19a-279e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

[(a) On or before admission to a hospital, or as soon as possible thereafter, a person designated by the hospital shall ask each patient who is at least eighteen years of age: "Are you an organ or tissue donor?" If the answer is affirmative the person shall request a copy of the document of gift. If the answer is negative or there is no answer and the attending physician consents, the person designated shall discuss with the patient the option to make or refuse to make an anatomical gift. The answer to the question, an available copy of any document of gift or refusal to make an anatomical gift, and any other relevant information, shall be placed in the patient's medical record.]

[(b)] (a) If, at or near the time of death of a patient, there is no medical record that the patient has made or refused to make an anatomical gift, the hospital administrator or a representative designated by the administrator shall discuss the option to make or refuse to make an anatomical gift and request the making of an anatomical gift pursuant to subsection (a) of section 19a-279c. The request shall be made with reasonable discretion and sensitivity to the circumstances of the family. A request is not required if the gift is not suitable, based upon accepted medical standards, for a purpose specified in section 19a-279f. An entry shall be made in the medical record of the patient stating the name and affiliation of the person making the request, and the name, response and relationship to the patient of the person to whom the request was made.

[(c)] (b) The following persons shall make a reasonable search for a document of gift or other information identifying the bearer as a donor or as a person who has refused to make an anatomical gift: (1) A law enforcement officer, fireman, paramedic or other emergency rescuer finding a person who the searcher believes is dead or near death; and (2) a hospital, upon the admission of a person at or near the time of death, if there is not immediately available any other source of that information.

[(d)] (c) If a document of gift or evidence of refusal to make an anatomical gift is located by the search required by subdivision (1) of subsection [(c)] (b) of this section, and the person or body to whom it relates is taken to a hospital, the hospital shall be notified of the contents and the document or other evidence shall be sent to the hospital.

[(e)] (d) If, at or near the time of death of a patient, a hospital knows that an anatomical gift has been made pursuant to subsection (a) of section 19a-279c or a release and removal of a part has been permitted pursuant to section 19a-279d, or that a patient or a person identified as in transit to the hospital is a donor, the hospital shall notify the donee if one is named and known to the hospital; if not, it shall notify an appropriate procurement organization. The hospital shall cooperate in the implementation of the anatomical gift or release and removal of a part.

[(f)] (e) A person who fails to discharge the duties imposed by this section shall not be subject to criminal or civil liability but shall be subject to appropriate administrative sanctions.

Approved June 3, 1999

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