2017 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 13 - Courts and Judicial Procedure
RS 13:5715 - Delivery of body; burial of paupers; anatomical gifts; kidney or eye removal; limitation of liability

Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 13:5715 (2017)

§5715. Delivery of body; disposition of paupers; anatomical gifts; kidney or eye removal; limitation of liability

A.(1) Upon completion of an autopsy or completion of the coroner's investigation, if the investigation reveals that an autopsy is not required, the coroner shall release the body to the family or friends for burial.

(2) The coroner shall arrange for the disposition of paupers, preferably by a Louisiana licensed funeral home. The disposition expenses shall not exceed the actual cost of the service, and shall be paid by the parish or municipality in which the death occurred. However, such expenses for patients or residents of any state-operated health care or treatment facility shall not be paid by the parish or municipality in which the death occurred, but shall be paid by the state. The state or any municipality or parish may establish a maximum amount which it shall pay for individual disposition expenses.

B.(1) If an individual gives all or any part of his body for any purpose authorized by R.S. 17:2353 in the manner specified in R.S. 17:2354, and no autopsy is required or permitted under the provisions of R.S. 13:5713, then the coroner shall promptly deliver the gift to the donee in accordance with the provisions of the Anatomical Gift Act (R.S. 17:2351 through 2355). If an individual authorized by R.S. 17:2352(B) gives all or any part of a deceased's body for any purpose authorized by R.S. 17:2353 in the manner specified in R.S. 17:2354, and no autopsy is required or permitted under the provisions of R.S. 13:5713, then the coroner shall cooperate with such individual by promptly delivering the gift to the donee in accordance with the provisions of the Anatomical Gift Act (R.S. 17:2351 through 2355). Any coroner, or agent or employee thereof, who acts in good faith when delivering an anatomical gift in accordance with this Section shall not be held liable for damages in any civil litigation or be subjected to any criminal prosecution for his actions. Any individual authorized by R.S. 17:2352(B) to make an anatomical gift may enforce the provisions of this Paragraph by immediately seeking an order from a district judge in the judicial district where the donor died or resided. The intent of this Paragraph is to facilitate prompt delivery of donated organs to satisfy the wishes of organ donors and ensure the viability of donated organs for their intended use.

(2) The coroner may authorize the removal of a decedent's eyes for donation to a donee authorized to become a donee under the provisions of R.S. 17:2353 upon request of any bank or storage facility, hospital, physician or surgeon, provided all of the following are true:

(a) The decedent who may provide the eyes is located within the parish of the coroner's jurisdiction.

(b) Following a good faith effort to locate decedent's next of kin for the purpose of obtaining consent for the removal of the eyes, the coroner knows of no objection by next of kin.

(c) The removal of the eyes will not interfere with the subsequent course of an investigation or autopsy or alter the facial appearance of the decedent.

(3) The coroner may authorize the removal of a decedent's kidneys for donation to a donee authorized to become a donee under the provisions of R.S. 17:2353 upon request of any bank or storage facility, hospital, physician or surgeon, provided all of the following are true:

(a) The decedent who may provide the kidneys is located within the parish of the coroner's jurisdiction.

(b) Following a good faith effort to locate decedent's next of kin for the purpose of obtaining consent for the removal of kidneys, the coroner knows of no objection by next of kin.

(c) The removal of the kidneys will not interfere with the subsequent course of an investigation or autopsy or alter the physical appearance of the decedent.

(4) The coroner may authorize the removal of a decedent's heart, lungs, liver, other soft tissue, or bone for donation to a donee authorized to become a donee under the provisions of R.S. 17:2353 upon request of any bank or storage facility, hospital, physician or surgeon provided all of the following are true:

(a) The decedent who may provide the heart, lungs, liver, other soft tissue, or bone is located within the parish of the coroner's jurisdiction.

(b) Following a good faith effort to locate decedent's next of kin for the purpose of obtaining consent for the removal of heart, lungs, liver, other soft tissue, or bone the coroner knows of no objection by next of kin.

(c) The removal of the heart, lungs, liver, other soft tissue, or bone will not interfere with the subsequent course of an investigation or autopsy or alter the physical appearance of the decedent.

Amended by Acts 1952, No. 151, §2; Acts 1966, No. 312, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1967; Acts 1984, No. 570, §1; Acts 1985, No. 241, §1; Acts 1985, No. 455, §1; Acts 1986, No. 551, §1; Acts 1987, No. 55, §1, eff. June 8, 1987; Acts 2001, No. 1177, §1; Redesignated from R.S. 33:1565 pursuant to Acts 2011, No. 248, §3; Acts 2014, No. 390, §1.

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