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General Laws

Section 14. (a) When a hospital refers an individual at or near death to a procurement organization, the organization shall make a reasonable search of the records of the Massachusetts Donor Registry and any other 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) Pursuant to section 20, a procurement organization shall be allowed reasonable access to information in the records of the registry of motor vehicles through the donor registry as set forth in section 8D of chapter 90 to ascertain whether an individual at or near death is a donor.

(c) When a hospital refers an individual at or near death to a procurement organization, the organization may conduct any reasonable examination necessary to assess 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the examination period, measures necessary to maintain the potential medical suitability of the part shall not be withdrawn unless the hospital or procurement organization knows that the individual expressed a contrary intent.

(d) Unless prohibited by any other law, at any time after a donor’s death, the person to whom a part shall pass under section 11 may conduct any reasonable examination necessary to assess the medical suitability of the body or part for its intended purpose.

(e) Unless prohibited by any other law, an examination under subsection (c) or (d) may include, but shall not be limited, to premortem and postmortem serological and blood and tissue compatibility testing and 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 who had signed a refusal, 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 unless the procurement organization knows the minor was emancipated.

(g) Upon referral by a hospital under subsection (a), a procurement organization shall make a reasonable search for any person listed in section 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 another person was made, amended or revoked, it shall promptly advise the other person of all relevant information.

(h) Subject to subsection (i) of section 11 and section 22, the rights of the person to whom a part shall pass under section 11 shall be superior to the rights of all others with respect to the part. That person may accept or reject an anatomical gift in whole or in part. Subject to the terms of the document of gift and this chapter, a person who accepts an anatomical gift of an entire body may allow embalming, burial or cremation and the use of remains in a funeral service. Upon the death of the donor and before embalming, burial or cremation, the person to whom a part shall pass under section 11 shall cause the part to be removed without unnecessary mutilation.

(i) Neither the physician who attends to 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 a decedent.

(j) A physician or technician may remove a donated part from the body of a donor that the physician or technician is qualified to remove.

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