New Jersey Anatomical Gift Act Law

Uniform Anatomical Gift – General – New Jersey

26:6-79 Applicability of act.

The provisions of this act shall apply to an anatomical gift, or an amendment to, revocation of, or refusal to make an anatomical gift, whenever made.

26:6-80 Anatomical gift by living donor.

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 section 5 of this act by:

a. the donor, if the donor is an adult, or if the donor is a minor and is emancipated or is authorized under the laws of this State to apply for a driver’s license;

b. an agent of the donor, unless the advance directive for health care or other record prohibits the agent from making an anatomical gift;

c. a parent of the donor, if the donor is an unemancipated minor; or

d. the donor’s guardian.

26:6-81 Procedure for donor to make anatomical gift.

A person may make an anatomical gift and thereby become a donor:

(1) 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;

(2) in a will;

(3) during a terminal illness or injury of the donor, by any form of communication addressed to at least two adults, at least one of whom shall be a disinterested witness; or

(4) as provided in subsection b. of this section.

A donor or other person authorized to make an anatomical gift pursuant to section 4 of this act 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:

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

(2) state that it has been signed and witnessed as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

The revocation, suspension, expiration, or cancellation of a driver’s license or identification card upon which an anatomical gift is indicated shall not invalidate the gift.

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

26:6-82 Amendment, revocation of anatomical gift by donor.

A donor or other person authorized to make an anatomical gift pursuant to section 4 of this act may amend or revoke an anatomical gift by:

(1) a record signed by:

(a) the donor or other person; or

(b) 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

(2) 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 subparagraph (b) of paragraph (1) of subsection a. of this section shall:

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

(2) state that it has been signed and witnessed as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

A donor or other person authorized to make an anatomical gift pursuant to section 4 of this act 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 adults, at least one of whom shall be 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 a. of this section.

26:6-83 Refusal to make anatomical gift.

A person may refuse to make an anatomical gift of the person’s body or part by:

(1) a record signed by:

(a) the person; or

(b) subject to subsection b. of this section, another individual acting at the person’s direction if the person is physically unable to sign;

(2) the person’s will, whether or not the will is admitted to probate or invalidated after the person’s death; or

(3) any form of communication made by the person during the person’s terminal illness or injury addressed to at least two adults, at least one of whom shall be a disinterested witness.

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

(1) be witnessed by at least two adults, at least one of whom shall be a disinterested witness, who have signed at the request of the person who is making a refusal; and

(2) state that it has been signed and witnessed as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

A person who has made a refusal may amend or revoke the refusal:

(1) in the manner provided in subsection a. of this section for making a refusal;

(2) by subsequently making an anatomical gift that is inconsistent with the refusal; or

(3) by destroying or canceling the record evidencing the refusal, or the portion of the record used to make the refusal, with the intent to revoke the refusal.

In the absence of an express, contrary indication by the person set forth in the refusal, a person’s unrevoked refusal to make an anatomical gift of the person’s body or part shall preclude another individual from making an anatomical gift of the person’s body or part.

26:6-85 Person authorized to make anatomical gift of a decedent’s body.

An anatomical gift of a decedent’s body or part 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 the decedent’s death who could have made an anatomical gift immediately before the decedent’s death pursuant to section 4 of this act;

(b) the spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner of the decedent;

(c) an adult child of the decedent;

(d) either parent of the decedent;

(e) an adult sibling of the decedent;

(f) another adult who is related to the decedent by blood, marriage, or adoption, or exhibited special care and concern for the decedent;

(g) a person who was acting as the guardian of the person of the decedent at the time of the decedent’s death; and

(h) any other person having the authority to dispose of the decedent’s body, including the administrator of a hospital in which the decedent was a patient or resident immediately preceding death. In the absence of actual notice of contrary indication by the decedent, the administrator shall make an anatomical gift of a decedent’s body or part.

If there is more than one member of a class as specified in subparagraphs (a) through (g) of paragraph (1) of this subsection who is entitled to make an anatomical gift, a member of the class may make an anatomical gift unless that member or a person to whom the gift may pass pursuant to section 10 of this act knows of an objection by another member of the class. If an objection is known, the gift shall be made only by a majority of the members of the class who are reasonably available. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require that all members of the class authorize the making of the gift or participate in the decision to make the gift.

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

A person authorized to make an anatomical gift pursuant to subsection a. of this section 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 to make the gift pursuant to subsection a. of this section 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 member of the prior class is reasonably available, the gift made by the authorized person may be:

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

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

A revocation made pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be 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. A procurement organization, transplant hospital, or physician or technician with knowledge of a revocation shall make a best effort to communicate that information to the other parties involved in order to stop the anatomical gift recovery process.

26:6-88 Delivery of document of gift or a refusal.

A document of gift need not be delivered during the donor’s lifetime to be effective.

Upon or after an individual’s death, a person in possession of a document of gift or a refusal to make an anatomical gift with respect to the individual shall allow examination and copying of the document of gift or refusal by a person authorized to make or object to the making of an anatomical gift with respect to the individual or by a person to whom the gift may pass pursuant to section 10 of this act.

26:6-92 Valid document of gift.

A document of gift shall be valid if executed in accordance with:

(1) the provisions of this act;

(2) the laws of the state or country in which it is executed; or

(3) the laws of the state or country in which the person making the anatomical gift is domiciled, has a place of residence, or is a citizen at the time that the document of gift is executed.

The law of this State shall govern the interpretation of a valid document of gift to which the provisions of this act apply.

A person shall presume that a document of gift or amendment of an anatomical gift is valid unless the person knows that it was not validly executed or was revoked.

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Inside New Jersey Anatomical Gift Act Law