2015 Arkansas Code
Title 20 - Public Health And Welfare
Subtitle 2 - Health And Safety
Chapter 17 - Death and Disposition of the Dead
Subchapter 8 - Disposition of Human Tissue
§ 20-17-801 - Fetus and tissue generally.
(a) (1) (A) Any physician removing or otherwise acquiring human tissue, in his or her discretion, after making or causing to be made scientific examination of the human tissue as he or she may deem appropriate or as may be required by law, custom, or rules and regulations of the hospital or other institution in which the human tissue may have been removed or acquired, may authorize disposition of the human tissue in a respectful and proper manner after separating the human tissue from other medical waste.
(B) The physician may authorize the disposition pursuant to this subsection unless he or she has been furnished, prior to removal or acquisition of the tissue or at any time prior to its disposal, a written request that the tissue be delivered to the patient or someone in his or her behalf or, if death has occurred, to the person claiming the dead body for burial or cremation.
(2) However, human tissue shall not be delivered except as may be permitted by rules and regulations of the State Board of Health.
(3) Any hospital or other institution acquiring possession of any human tissue and not having written instructions to the contrary from the attending physician, the patient, or the person claiming a dead body for burial or cremation, or someone acting in their behalf, may immediately dispose of the human tissue as provided for in this subsection.
(b) (1) (A) An external member of the human body shall not be disposed of pursuant to subsection (a) of this section within forty-eight (48) hours of its removal or acquisition unless consent is obtained in writing from the patient or the person authorizing the medical or surgical treatment of the patient.
(B) A dead fetus shall not be disposed of within forty-eight (48) hours of its removal or acquisition unless consent is obtained in writing from the mother of the dead fetus or the mother's spouse.
(2) For the purposes of this section:
(A) "Dead fetus" means a product of human conception exclusive of its placenta or connective tissue, which has suffered death prior to its complete expulsion or extraction from the mother as established by the fact that, after the expulsion or extraction the fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles;
(B) "External member of the human body" means an arm or one (1) or more joints of the arm, a hand, a finger or one (1) or more joints of the finger, a leg or one (1) or more joints of the leg, a foot, a toe or one (1) or more joints of the toe, an ear or the greater part of the ear, or the nose or the greater part of the nose;
(C) "Human tissue" means any tissue of the human body, including without limitation an external member of the human body, fetal tissue, placenta, or fetal connective tissue; and
(D) "Respectful and proper manner" means either releasing the human tissue to the patient or authorized person, incineration, burial, or cremation.
(c) (1) The board shall promulgate all reasonable and necessary rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this section.
(2) Facilities licensed by the Department of Health shall establish operational policies to implement the board rules and this section.
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