2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 44 - PROPERTY
CHAPTER 5 - ACQUISITION AND LOSS OF PROPERTY
ARTICLE 6 - REVISED UNIFORM ANATOMICAL GIFTS
§ 44-5-159.2 - Role of medical examiner

O.C.G.A. 44-5-159.2 (2010)
44-5-159.2. Role of medical examiner


(a) Upon specific request of a procurement organization, and in accordance with the procedures set forth under the agreement established pursuant to subsection (e) of this Code section, 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 part is medically suitable for transplantation, therapy, research, or education, and the gift or procurement does occur, the medical examiner shall release postmortem examination results to the procurement organization. The procurement organization may make a subsequent disclosure of the postmortem examination results or other information received from the medical examiner only if relevant to transplantation, therapy, research, or education.

(b) The medical examiner may conduct a medicolegal investigation 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.

(c) A person that has any information requested by a medical examiner pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code 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 parts for the purpose of transplantation, therapy, research, or education.

(d) If an anatomical gift has been or might be made of a part of a decedent whose body is under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner and a postmortem examination is not required, or the medical examiner determines that a postmortem examination is required but that the recovery of the 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 part from the decedent for the purpose of transplantation, therapy, research, or education.

(e) The medical examiner and procurement organizations shall enter into an agreement signed by both parties setting forth protocols and procedures to govern relations between the parties when an anatomical gift of a part from a decedent under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner has been or might be made, but the medical examiner believes that the recovery of the part could interfere with the postmortem investigation into the decedent's cause or manner of death. Decisions regarding the recovery of organs, tissue, and eyes from such a decedent, and decisions about approaches to tissue donation cases compared with organ donation cases, shall be made in accordance with the agreement. In the event that a medical examiner denies recovery of an anatomical gift, the procurement organization may request the regional medical examiner serving the county having jurisdiction over the death to reconsider the denial and to permit the recovery to proceed; provided, however, that if a county having jurisdiction over the death does not have a county medical examiner as defined in paragraph (2) of Code Section 45-16-21, and a recovery is denied as provided herein, the procurement organization may request the chief medical examiner appointed pursuant to Code Section 35-3-153 to reconsider the denial and to permit the recovery to proceed. The parties shall evaluate the effectiveness of the protocols and procedures at regular intervals but no less frequently than every two years. A medical examiner may limit its involvement and agreements with procurement organizations to one procurement organization, but may work with more than one procurement organization in the discretion of the medical examiner.

(f) If the medical examiner or designee allows recovery of a part under subsection (d) or (e) of this Code section, the procurement organization, upon request, shall cause the physician or technician who removes the part to provide the medical examiner with a record describing the condition of the part, a biopsy, a photograph, and any other information and observations that would assist in the postmortem examination.

(g) If a medical examiner or designee is required to be present at a removal procedure pursuant to an agreement entered into under subsection (e) of this Code section, upon request the procurement organization requesting the recovery of the part shall reimburse the medical examiner or designee for the additional costs incurred in complying with subsection (e) of this Code section.

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