‹ Back  |  print page Print



§16-19-22. Facilitation of anatomical gift from decedent whose body is under jurisdiction of medical examiner.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, the medical examiner shall, upon request of a procurement organization, release to the procurement organization the name, contact information and available medical and social history of a decedent whose body is in the custody of the medical examiner. If the decedent's body or part is medically suitable for transplantation, therapy, research or education, the medical examiner shall release post-mortem examination results after being paid in accordance with the fee schedule established in rules to the procurement organization, subject to subsection (e) of this section. 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 or therapy.

(b) 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 which the medical examiner determines may be relevant to the investigation.

(c) A person with any information requested by a medical examiner pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall provide that information as soon 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 the medical examiner determines that a post-mortem examination is not required or that a post-mortem 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) If the decedent's death is the subject of a criminal investigation, the medical examiner may not release the body or part that is the subject of an anatomical gift or the social history, medical history or post-mortem examination results without the express authorization of the prosecuting attorney of the county having jurisdiction over the investigation.

(f) If an anatomical gift of a 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 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 about the proposed recovery. After the consultation, the medical examiner may allow the recovery at his or her discretion. The medical examiner may attend the removal procedure for the part before making a final determination not to allow the procurement organization to recover the part.

(g) If the medical examiner denies recovery of the part, he or she shall:

(1) Provide the procurement organization with a written explanation of the specific reasons for not allowing recovery of the part; and

(2) Include in the medical examiner's records the specific reasons for denying recovery of the part.

(h) If the medical examiner allows recovery of a part, the procurement organization shall, upon request, cause the physician or technician who removes the part to provide the medical examiner with a written report describing the condition of the part, a biopsy, a photograph or any other information and observations that would assist in the post-mortem examination.

(i) A medical examiner who decides to be present at a removal procedure pursuant to subsection (f) of this section is entitled to reimbursement for the expenses associated with appearing at the recovery procedure from the procurement organization which requested his or her presence.

(j) A medical examiner performing any of the functions specified in this section shall comply with all applicable provisions of article twelve, chapter sixty-one of this code.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
The West Virginia Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.
This Web site is maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.  |  Terms of Use  |   Web Administrator   |   © 2020 West Virginia Legislature ****