Kentucky Anatomical Gift Law

Uniform Anatomical Gift – General – Kentucky

311.1915 Who may make anatomical gift before donor’s death.

Subject to KRS 311.1923, an anatomical gift of a donor’s body or part may be made during the life of the donor for the purpose of transplantation, therapy, research, or education in the manner provided in KRS 311.1917 by:

(1) The donor, if the donor is an adult or if the donor is a minor and is:

(a) Emancipated; or

(b) Authorized under state law to apply for a driver’s license because the donor is at least sixteen (16) years of age;

(2) An agent of the donor, unless the power of attorney for health care or other record prohibits the agent from making an anatomical gift;

(3) A parent of the donor, if the donor is an unemancipated minor; or

(4) The donor’s guardian.

311.1917 Manner of making anatomical gift before donor’s death.

A donor may make an anatomical gift:

(a) By authorizing a statement or symbol indicating that the donor has made an anatomical gift to be imprinted on the donor’s driver’s license or identification card;

(b) In a will;

(c) During a terminal illness or injury of the donor, by any form of communication addressed to at least two (2) adults, at least one (1) of whom is a disinterested witness; or

(d) As provided in subsection (2) of this section.

A donor or other person authorized to make an anatomical gift under KRS 311.1915 may make a gift by a donor card or other record signed by the donor or other person making the gift or by authorizing that a statement or symbol indicating that the donor has made an anatomical gift be included on a donor registry. If the donor or other person is physically unable to sign a record, the record may be signed by another individual at the direction of the donor or other person and shall:

(a) Be witnessed by at least two (2) adults, at least one (1) of whom is a disinterested witness, who have signed at the request of the donor or the other person; and

(b) State that it has been signed and witnessed as provided in paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(3) Revocation, suspension, expiration, or cancellation of a driver’s license or identification card upon which an anatomical gift is indicated does not invalidate the gift.

An anatomical gift made by will takes effect upon the donor’s death whether or not the will is probated. Invalidation of the will after the donor’s death does not invalidate the gift.

The making of an anatomical gift shall not under any circumstances be construed to authorize or direct the denial of health care or hydration and nourishment when the withholding or withdrawal of health care or hydration and nourishment will result in or hasten death.

311.1919 Amending or revoking anatomical gift before donor’s death.

Subject to KRS 311.1923, a donor or other person authorized to make an anatomical gift under KRS 311.1915 may amend or revoke an anatomical gift by:

(a) A record signed by:

1. The donor;

2. The other person; or

3. another individual acting at the direction of the donor or the other person if the donor or other person is physically unable to sign; or

(b) A later-executed document of gift that amends or revokes a previous anatomical gift or portion of an anatomical gift, either expressly or by inconsistency.

A record signed pursuant to subsection (1)(a)3. of this section shall:

(a) Be witnessed by at least two (2) adults, at least one (1) of whom is a disinterested witness, who have signed at the request of the donor or the other person; and

(b) State that it has been signed and witnessed as provided in paragraph (a) of this subsection.

Subject to KRS 311.1923, a donor or other person authorized to make an anatomical gift under KRS 311.1915 may revoke an anatomical gift by the destruction or cancellation of the document of gift, or the portion of the document of gift used to make the gift, with the intent to revoke the gift.

A donor may amend or revoke an anatomical gift that was not made in a will by any form of communication during a terminal illness or injury addressed to at least two (2) adults, at least one (1) of whom is a disinterested witness.

A donor who makes an anatomical gift in a will may amend or revoke the gift in the manner provided for amendment or revocation of wills or as provided in subsection (1) of this section.

311.1925 Who may make anatomical gift of decedent’s body or part.

An anatomical gift of a decedent’s body or part for purpose of transplantation, therapy, research, or education may be made by any member of the following classes of persons who is reasonably available, in the order of priority listed:

(a) An agent of the decedent at the time of death who could have made an anatomical gift under KRS 311.1915(2) immediately before the decedent’s death;

(b) The spouse of the decedent;

(c) Adult children of the decedent;

(d) Parents of the decedent;

(e) Adult siblings of the decedent;

(f) Adult grandchildren of the decedent;

(g) Grandparents of the decedent; and

(h) The persons who were acting as the guardians of the person of the decedent at the time of death.

If there is more than one (1) member of a class listed in subsection (1)(a), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), or (h) of this section entitled to make an anatomical gift, an anatomical gift may be made by a member of the class unless that member or a person to which the gift may pass under KRS 311.1929 knows of an objection by another member of the class. If an objection is known, the gift may be made only by a majority of the members of the class who are reasonably available.

A person may not make an anatomical gift if, at the time of the decedent’s death, a person in a prior class under subsection (1) of this section is reasonably available to make or to object to the making of an anatomical gift.

311.1927 Manner of making, amending, or revoking anatomical gift of decedent’s body or part.

A person authorized to make an anatomical gift under KRS 311.1925 may make an anatomical gift by a document of gift signed by the person making the gift or by that person’s oral communication that is electronically recorded or is contemporaneously reduced to a record and signed by the individual receiving the oral communication.

An anatomical gift by a person authorized under KRS 311.1925 may be amended or revoked orally or in a record by any member of a prior class who is reasonably available. If more than one (1) member of the prior class is reasonably available, the gift made by a person authorized under KRS 311.1925 may be:

(a) Amended only if a majority of the reasonably available members agree to the amending of the gift; or

(b) Revoked only if a majority of the reasonably available members agree to the revoking of the gift or if they are equally divided as to whether to revoke the gift.

A revocation under subsection (2) of this section is effective only if, before an incision has been made to remove a part from the donor’s body or before invasive procedures have begun to prepare the recipient, the procurement organization, transplant hospital, or physician or technician knows of the revocation.

311.1929 Persons that may receive anatomical gift — Purpose of anatomical gift.

An anatomical gift may be made to the following persons named in the document of gift:

(a) A hospital; accredited medical school, dental school, college, or university; organ procurement organization; or other appropriate person, for research or education;

(b) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, an individual designated by the person making the anatomical gift if the individual is the recipient of the part; or

(c) An eye bank or tissue bank.

If an anatomical gift to an individual under subsection (1)(b) of this section cannot be transplanted into the individual, the part passes in accordance with subsection (7) of this section in the absence of an express, contrary indication by the person making the anatomical gift.

If an anatomical gift of one (1) or more specific parts or of all parts is made in a document of gift that does not name a person described in subsection (1) of this section but identifies the purpose for which an anatomical gift may be used, the following rules apply:

(a) If the part is an eye and the gift is for the purpose of transplantation or therapy, the gift passes to the appropriate eye bank;

(b) If the part is tissue and the gift is for the purpose of transplantation or therapy, the gift passes to the appropriate tissue bank;

(c) If the part is an organ and the gift is for the purpose of transplantation or therapy, the gift passes to the appropriate organ procurement organization as custodian of the organ; or

(d) If the part is an organ, an eye, or tissue and the gift is for the purpose of research or education, the gift passes to the appropriate procurement organization.

For the purpose of subsection (3) of this section, if there is more than one (1) purpose of an anatomical gift set forth in the document of gift but the purposes are not set forth in any priority, the gift shall be used for transplantation or therapy, if suitable. If the gift cannot be used for transplantation or therapy, the gift may be used for research or education.

If an anatomical gift of one (1) or more specific parts is made in a document of gift that does not name a person described in subsection (1) of this section and does not identify the purpose of the gift, the gift may be used only for transplantation or therapy, and the gift passes in accordance with subsection (7) of this section.

If a document of gift specifies only a general intent to make an anatomical gift by words such as “donor,” “organ donor,” or “body donor,” or by a symbol or statement of similar import, the gift may be used only for transplantation or therapy, and the gift passes in accordance with subsection (7) of this section.

(7) For purposes of subsections (2), (5), and (6) of this section the following rules apply:

(a) If the part is an eye, the gift passes to the appropriate eye bank;

(b) If the part is tissue, the gift passes to the appropriate tissue bank, except that a tissue bank shall not receive an ovum or sperm for the purpose of creating an embryo to be used in therapy, research, or education; or

(c) If the part is an organ, the gift passes to the appropriate organ procurement organization as custodian of the organ.

An anatomical gift of an organ for transplantation or therapy, other than an anatomical gift under subsection (1)(b) of this section, passes to the organ procurement organization as custodian of the organ.

If an anatomical gift does not pass pursuant to subsections (1) to (8) of this section or the decedent’s body or part is not used for transplantation, therapy, research, or education, custody of the body or part passes to the person under obligation to dispose of the body or part.

A person may not accept an anatomical gift if the person knows that the gift was not effectively made under KRS 311.1917 or 311.1927 or if the person knows that the decedent made a refusal under KRS 311.1921 that was not revoked. For purposes of the subsection, if a person knows that an anatomical gift was made on a document of gift, the person is deemed to know of any amendment or revocation of the gift or any refusal to make an anatomical gift on the same document of gift.

Except as otherwise provided in subsection (1)(b) of this section, nothing in KRS 311.1911 to 311.1959 affects the allocation of organs for transplantation or therapy.
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