California Code, Government Code - GOV § 27491.45




(a)(1) The coroner shall have the right to retain parts of the body, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 7150.1 of the Health and Safety Code, removed at the time of autopsy or acquired during a coroner's investigation as may, in the opinion of the coroner, be necessary or advisable for scientific investigation and training.  The coroner may employ or use outside laboratories, hospitals, or research institutions in the conduct of the coroner's scientific investigation or training.

(2) Parts of the body retained pursuant to paragraph (1) may be released by the coroner to hospitals, medical educational research institutions, and law enforcement agencies for noncoroner training, educational, and research purposes, either upon consent of the decedent or other person, as specified in Section 7151 of the Health and Safety Code, or after a reasonable effort has been made to locate and inform persons listed in subdivision (a) of Section 7151 of the Health and Safety Code of their option to consent or object to the release, and the appropriate person consents or that effort has been unsuccessful.  A reasonable effort shall be deemed to have been made when a search for the persons has been underway for at least 12 hours.  The search shall include a check of local police missing persons records, examination of personal effects, and the questioning of any persons visiting the decedent before his or her death or in the hospital, accompanying the decedent's body, or reporting the death, in order to obtain information that might lead to the location of any persons listed in subdivision (a) of Section 7151 of the Health and Safety Code.

(b) The coroner may, in his or her discretion, allow removal of parts of the body by a licensed physician and surgeon or trained transplant technician for transplant, or therapeutic, or scientific purposes pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 7150 ) of Part 1 of Division 7 of the Health and Safety Code, only if the following conditions are met:

(1) The provision of the part will not unnecessarily mutilate the body or interfere with the autopsy.

(2) The decedent or other person, as specified in Section 7151 of the Health and Safety Code , has consented to the provision of the part, as prescribed by Section 7154 of the Health and Safety Code , or after a reasonable effort has been made to locate and inform persons listed in subdivision (a) of Section 7151 of the Health and Safety Code of their option to consent or object to the release, and the appropriate person consents, or that effort has been unsuccessful.  A reasonable effort shall be deemed to have been made when a search for the persons has been underway for at least 12 hours.  The search shall include a check of local police missing persons records, examination of personal effects, and the questioning of any persons visiting the decedent before his or her death or in the hospital, accompanying the decedent's body, or reporting the death, in order to obtain information that might lead to the location of any persons listed in subdivision (a) of Section 7151 of the Health and Safety Code .  In obtaining this gift, the coroner shall notify the donor of the specific part or parts requested and shall obtain the donor's informed consent, as provided in Section 7150.5 or 7151 of the Health and Safety Code.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting any right provided for in Section 7152 of the Health and Safety Code .

(d) For purposes of this section, “trained transplant technician” means a person who has completed training in tissue removal for transplant or therapeutic, or scientific purposes, which the coroner determines to be adequate for the purposes.





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