Skip to main content

Delaware Code Title 16. Health and Safety § 2721. Requests for anatomical gifts

Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes, a free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes, visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.

(a)(1) At or near the time of death of any patient in a hospital, the attending physician or hospital designee shall make contact with the OPO in order to determine the suitability for organ, tissue and eye donation for any purpose specified under this chapter. This contact and the disposition shall be noted in the patient's medical record.

(2) a. If the OPO determines that additional medical history or information is required to determine suitability for the donation, the OPO may seek additional health information on the potential anatomical donor from the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN).

b. If the OPO has entered into an agreement with the DHIN for access to clinical data in DHIN's possession, DHIN shall provide the OPO with timely access to medical information on the potential anatomical donor.

(b) Protocol for referral of potential anatomical donors to OPO.

(1) The person designated by the hospital to contact the OPO shall have the following information available:

a. Patient's name and identifier number;

b. Patient's age;

c. Anticipated cause of death;

d. Past medical history; and

e. Other pertinent medical information.

(2)a. If the OPO determines that donation is not appropriate based on established medical criteria, this shall be noted by hospital personnel in the patient's record and no further action shall be necessary.

b. If the OPO determines that donation may be appropriate, the OPO shall make a reasonable search of the records of the Donate Life Delaware Registry or the applicable state donor registry that it knows exists for the geographic area in which the individual resided or resides in order to ascertain whether the individual has made an anatomical gift.

c. If the referred patient has a document of gift, including registration with the Donate Life Delaware Registry, the OPO representative or the designated requestor shall attempt to notify a person listed in § 2711(c) of this title of the gift.

d. If no document of gift is known to the OPO representative or the designated requestor, 1 of these 2 individuals shall ask the persons listed in § 2711(c) of this title whether the decedent had a validly executed document of gift. If there is no evidence of an anatomical gift by the decedent, the OPO representative or the designated requestor shall notify a person listed in § 2711(c) of this title of the option to donate organs and tissues. The request for donation shall be made by the OPO representative, or the designated requester in consultation with the attending physician or the hospital designee.

(3) The person in charge of the hospital or that person’s designated representative shall indicate in the medical record of the decedent:

a. Whether or not a document of gift is known to exist or whether a gift was made; and

b. The name of the person granting or refusing the gift and that person’s relationship to the decedent.

(4) If the OPO determines, based upon a medical record review, that a hospitalized individual who is dead or whose death is imminent may be a prospective donor, the hospital shall, if requested by the OPO, conduct a blood or tissue test or minimally invasive examination, which is reasonably necessary to evaluate the medical suitability of a part that is or may be the subject of an anatomical gift. Specific consent to testing or examination under this paragraph (b)(4) is not required. The results of tests and examinations under this paragraph (b)(4) shall be used or disclosed only:

a. To evaluate medical suitability for donation and to facilitate the donation process; and

b. As required or permitted by law.

(5) The attending physician, in collaboration with the OPO, shall ensure that, prior to the withdrawal or withholding of any measures which are necessary to maintain the medical suitability of a part that is or may be the subject of an anatomical gift, the OPO has either:

a. Had the opportunity to advise the applicable persons set forth in § 2711(c) of this title of the option to make an anatomical gift; or

b. Ascertained that the individual expressed a known objection.

(6) Each hospital in the State shall develop and implement a protocol for referring potential anatomical donors as provided in this section. The protocol shall require that, at or near the time of the death of any patient, the hospital shall contact by telephone the OPO to determine suitability for anatomical donation of the potential donor. The protocol shall encourage discretion and sensitivity to family circumstances and beliefs in all discussions regarding donations of organs, tissue or eyes.

a. Limitation. --If the hospital staff advises the OPO that the hospital staff has actual knowledge that the decedent did not wish to be an anatomical donor, the gift of all or any part of the decedent's body shall not be requested.

b. Medical record reviews. --Death medical record reviews must be performed annually in each acute care general hospital for the sole purpose of determining anatomical donor potential at the hospital. The hospital may perform the medical record review or may designate the OPO to conduct the review. If the hospital chooses to conduct its own review, it must do so in accordance with clinical specifications and guidelines established by the OPO. If the hospital conducts the review, the OPO must provide the necessary training to hospital personnel conducting the review. The hospital must report the results of the review to the OPO no later than 45 days following the completion of the review. If the hospital designates the OPO to conduct the review, the OPO shall provide the hospital with written assurance that the OPO shall maintain the confidentiality of patient identifying information.

c. After a donor's death, a person to whom an anatomical gift may pass under § 2712 of this title may conduct a test or examination which is reasonably necessary to evaluate the medical suitability of the body or part for its intended purpose.

d. Any examination conducted under this section may include an examination and copying of records necessary to determine the medical suitability of the part. This subsection includes medical, dental and other health-related records.

e. A hospital shall enter into agreements or affiliations with the OPO for coordination of procurement and use of anatomical gifts.

(7) A physician or technician may remove a donated part from the body of a donor that the physician or technician is qualified to remove.

(8) A revocation of a gift made under this chapter is effective only if the applicable organ procurement organization, tissue bank, eye bank, or transplant hospital knows of and can reasonably communicate the revocation to the involved physicians or technicians 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.

(c) A person, including a medical examiner, that seeks to facilitate the making of an anatomical gift for the purposes of transplantation or therapy from a decedent who was not a hospital patient at the time of death shall notify the OPO at or around the time of the person's death in order to allow the OPO to evaluate the potential donation and, if applicable, coordinate the donation process.

(d) The OPO may, upon request and payment of associated fees, obtain certified copies of death records of a donor from the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Office of Vital Statistics.

Cite this article: - Delaware Code Title 16. Health and Safety § 2721. Requests for anatomical gifts - last updated January 01, 2022 |

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Was this helpful?

Thank you. Your response has been sent.

Copied to clipboard