2015 ORS 97.980¹
Facilitation of anatomical gift from decedent whose body is under jurisdiction of medical examiner

(1) Upon request of a procurement organization, a medical examiner shall release to the procurement organization the name, contact information and available medical and social history of a decedent whose body is under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner. If the decedent’s body or body part is medically suitable for transplantation, therapy, research or education, the medical examiner shall release post-mortem examination results to the procurement organization. The procurement organization may make a subsequent disclosure of the post-mortem examination results or other information received from the medical examiner only if relevant to transplantation, therapy, research or education.

(2) The medical examiner may conduct a medicolegal examination by reviewing all medical records, laboratory test results, X-rays, other diagnostic results and other information that any person possesses about a donor or prospective donor whose body is under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner that the medical examiner determines may be relevant to the investigation.

(3) A person who has any information requested by a medical examiner pursuant to subsection (2) of this section shall provide that information as expeditiously as possible to allow the medical examiner to conduct the medicolegal investigation within a period compatible with the preservation of body parts for the purpose of transplantation, therapy, research or education.

(4) If an anatomical gift has been or might be made of a body part of a decedent whose body is under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner and a post-mortem examination is not required, or the medical examiner determines that a post-mortem examination is required but that the recovery of the body part that is the subject of an anatomical gift will not interfere with the examination, the medical examiner and procurement organization shall cooperate in the timely removal of the body part from the decedent for the purpose of transplantation, therapy, research or education.

(5) If an anatomical gift of a body part from the decedent under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner has been or might be made, but the medical examiner initially believes that the recovery of the body part could interfere with the post-mortem investigation into the decedent’s cause or manner of death, the medical examiner shall consult with the procurement organization, or physician or technician designated by the procurement organization, about the proposed recovery. The procurement organization shall provide the medical examiner with all of the information that the procurement organization possesses that could relate to the decedent’s cause or manner of death.

(6)(a) The medical examiner and the procurement organization may enter into an agreement establishing protocols and procedures governing their relationship when:

(A) An anatomical gift of a body part from a decedent whose body is under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner has been or might be made; and

(B) The medical examiner believes that the recovery of the body part could interfere with the post-mortem investigation into the decedent’s cause or manner of death or the documentation or preservation of evidence.

(b) A decision regarding the recovery of the body part from the decedent shall be made in accordance with the agreement.

(c) The medical examiner and the procurement organization shall evaluate the effectiveness of the agreement at regular intervals but not less frequently than every two years.

(7)(a) In the absence of an agreement establishing protocols and procedures governing the relationship between the medical examiner and the procurement organization when an anatomical gift of an eye or tissue from a decedent whose body is under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner has been or might be made, and following the consultation under subsection (5) of this section, the medical examiner may delay the recovery of the eye or tissue until after the collection of evidence or the post-mortem examination, in order to preserve and collect evidence, to maintain a proper chain of custody and to allow an accurate determination of the decedent’s cause or manner of death.

(b) When a determination to delay the recovery of an eye or tissue is made, every effort possible shall be made by the medical examiner to complete the collection of evidence or the post-mortem examination in a timely manner compatible with the preservation of the eye or tissue for the purpose of transplantation, therapy, research or education.

(c) The collection of evidence or the post-mortem examination shall occur during the normal business hours of the medical examiner and, when possible and practicable, at times other than the normal business hours of the medical examiner.

(d) If the collection of evidence or the post-mortem examination occurs at times other than the normal business hours of the medical examiner, the procurement organization shall reimburse the medical examiner a mutually agreed-upon reasonable fee.

(8) If the medical examiner denies or delays recovery under subsection (6) or (7) of this section, the medical examiner shall:

(a) Explain in a record the specific reasons for not allowing or for delaying recovery of the body part;

(b) Include the specific reasons in the records of the medical examiner; and

(c) Provide a record with the specific reasons to the procurement organization.

(9) If the medical examiner allows recovery of a body part, the procurement organization shall cooperate with the medical examiner in any documentation of injuries and the preservation and collection of evidence prior to and during the recovery of the body part and, upon request of the medical examiner, shall cause the physician or technician who removes the body part to provide the medical examiner with a record describing the condition of the body part, a photograph and any other information and observations that would assist in the post-mortem examination. [2007 c.681 §20]

Note: See note under 97.951 (Short title).

Chapter 97

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Embalming dead human body without prior authoriza­tion from surviving spouse or next of kin, (1981) Vol 41, p 457


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 97—Rights and Duties Relating to Cemeteries, Human Bodies and Anatomical Gifts, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors097.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 97, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano097.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.