PA 09-37—sHB 6598

Public Health Committee

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE RELEASE OF BIOLOGIC MATERIAL FOR GENETIC TESTING

SUMMARY: This act allows, in limited circumstances, the testing of biologic material of a deceased person for purposes of determining paternity or diagnosing a life-threatening illness in a living individual. “Biologic material” means blood or other tissues suitable for DNA analysis.

The act allows the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to release biologic material of the deceased person to a licensed clinical laboratory for such testing after obtaining written consent from the deceased person's next of kin. It defines “next of kin” as the deceased person's spouse, parent, adult child, adult sibling, or grandparent.

The act allows an interested person to petition the Superior Court for the judicial district in which the death occurred for an order for release of biologic material in any case where the next of kin does not give written consent. After due consideration of the equities involved, the court can enter an order for release of the biologic material only to a licensed clinical laboratory. The laboratory may release the results of any analysis or testing to the petitioner, subject to applicable state and federal law. The petitioner must pay all reasonable testing and analysis costs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009

BACKGROUND

Clinical Laboratory

By law, a “clinical laboratory” is any facility or other area used for microbiological, serological, chemical, hematological, immunohematological, biophysical, cytological, pathological, or other examinations of human body fluids, secretions, excretions, or excised or exfoliated tissues, for the purpose of providing information for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of any human disease or impairment; the assessment of human health; or the presence of drugs, poisons, or other toxicological substances (CGS 19a-30).

The Department of Public Health licenses clinical laboratories.

OLR Tracking: JK: VR; JL: ts