California Government Code Section 27491.46
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(a) The coroner shall have the right to retain pituitary glands solely for transmission to a university, for use in research or the advancement of medical science, in those cases in which the coroner has performed an autopsy pursuant to this chapter, and during a 48-hour period following such autopsy the body has not been claimed and the coroner has not been informed of any relatives of the decedent.
(b) In the course of any autopsy performed by the coroner, the coroner may remove the pituitary gland from the body for transmittal to any public agency for use in manufacturing a hormone necessary for the physical growth of persons who are, or may become, hypopituitary dwarfs, if the coroner has no knowledge of objection to the removal and release of the pituitary gland having been made by the decedent or any other person specified in Section 7151.5 of the Health and Safety Code. Neither the coroner nor the medical examiner authorizing the removal of the pituitary gland, nor any hospital, medical center, tissue bank, storage facility, or person acting upon the request, order, or direction of the coroner or medical examiner in the removal of the pituitary gland pursuant to this section, shall incur civil liability for the removal of the pituitary gland in an action brought by any person who did not object prior to the removal of the pituitary gland, nor be subject to criminal prosecution for removal of the pituitary gland pursuant to the authority of this section.
Nothing in this subdivision shall supersede the terms of any gift made pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 7150) of Part 1 of Division 7 of the Health and Safety Code.
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