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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Whereas , The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is forthwith to further regulate organ and tissue donations, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health and convenience.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 8 of chapter 113 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out subsections (b) to (g), inclusive, as amended by section 5 of chapter 145 of the acts of 2005, and inserting in place thereof the following 5 subsections:-

(b) An organ or tissue donation, regardless of the document of gift making such donation, that is not revoked by the donor before death shall be irrevocable and shall not require the consent or concurrence of a person after the donor's death.

(c) On or before the occurrence of death in an acute hospital, the federally designated organ procurement organization or federally registered nonprofit eye or tissue bank shall, subject to hospital protocols consistent with applicable federal laws and regulations, inform any of the persons listed below in the order of priority stated when persons in prior classes are not available if the decedent authorized a gift or, if the decedent failed to authorize a gift, of the opportunity to authorize a gift of all or part of the decedent's body for purposes of organ and tissue transplantation as provided in section 9, if no actual notice of contrary intentions by the person has been received and if consent to such donation could yield an organ or tissue suitable for transplantation. The order of priority of such persons shall be:-

(1) spouse;

(2) an adult son or daughter;

(3) a parent;

(4) an adult brother or sister;

(5) a health care proxy;

(6) a guardian of the body of the decedent at the time of his death; and

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

(d) If the donee has actual notice of contrary indications by the decedent, or that a gift authorized by a member of a class is opposed by a majority of individuals in the same or a prior class, the donee shall not accept the gift. A person authorized in subsection (c) may make the gift after death or immediately before death.

(e) A gift of all or part of a body authorizes premortem tests and any other examination necessary to assure medical acceptability of the gift for the purposes intended by the donor.

(f) The rights of the donee created by the gift shall supercede the rights of others except as provided in subsection (d) of section 13.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect on February 20, 2006.

Approved February 24, 2006.