Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 7. DEAD BODIES [7000 - 8030]

  ( Division 7 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

PART 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS [7000 - 7355]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

CHAPTER 3.7. Death [7180 - 7184.5]

  ( Chapter 3.7 added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 810, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 2. Confirmation of Death [7181 - 7184.5]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 810, Sec. 2. )

7181.
  

When an individual is pronounced dead by determining that the individual has sustained an irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, there shall be independent confirmation by another physician.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 810, Sec. 2.)

7182.
  

When a part of the donor is used for direct transplantation pursuant to the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 7150)) and the death of the donor is determined by determining that the individual has suffered an irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, there shall be an independent confirmation of the death by another physician. Neither the physician making the determination of death under Section 7155.5 nor the physician making the independent confirmation shall participate in the procedures for removing or transplanting a part.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 810, Sec. 2.)

7183.
  

Complete patient medical records required of a health facility pursuant to regulations adopted by the department in accordance with Section 1275 shall be kept, maintained, and preserved with respect to the requirements of this chapter when an individual is pronounced dead by determining that the individual has sustained an irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 810, Sec. 2.)

7184.
  

(a)  Each general acute care hospital shall develop a protocol for identifying potential organ and tissue donors. The protocol shall require that any deceased individual’s next of kin or other individual, as set forth in Section 7151, at or near the time of notification of death be asked whether the deceased was an organ donor or if the family is a donor family. If not, the family shall be informed of the option to donate organs and tissues pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 7150) of Part 1 of Division 7. With the approval of the designated next of kin or other individual, as set forth in Section 7151, the hospital shall then notify an organ and tissue procurement organization and cooperate in the procurement of the anatomical gift or gifts. The protocol shall encourage reasonable discretion and sensitivity to the family circumstances in all discussions regarding donations of tissue or organs. The protocol may take into account the deceased individual’s religious beliefs or obvious nonsuitability for organ and tissue donation. In the event an organ and tissue procurement organization does not exist in a region, the hospital shall contact an organ or a tissue procurement organization, as appropriate. Laws pertaining to notification of the coroner shall be complied with in all cases of reportable deaths.

(b)  A general acute care hospital shall comply with subdivision (a) or (c) as a condition of participation in the Medi-Cal program contained in Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(c)  Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the protocol may alternately provide for the hospital to contact an organ and tissue procurement organization at the time a potential organ and tissue donor is identified, and for the trained personnel of the organ and tissue procurement organization to make the inquiries described in subdivision (a) of the deceased individual’s next of kin or other individual as set forth in Section 7151.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 583, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1993.)

7184.5.
  

(a)  In conjunction with entering into any agreement with any coroner or medical examiner for release and removal of organs from bodies within that official’s custody and to further the purposes of Section 27491.45 of the Government Code, a procurement organization shall develop a protocol for organ recovery, as appropriate, that provides sufficient information on the medical and injury status of the deceased to permit release and removal of organs without undue prejudice to that official’s investigation of, or inquiry into, the cause of death.

(b)  The protocol described in subdivision (a) shall be subject to approval by the coroner or medical examiner before release or removal of organs and shall provide for the following:

(1)  Relevant information on the deceased to be given to the coroner or deputy coroner at the time of the initial request for permission to recover internal organs, including, but not limited to:

(A)  Information identifying the deceased.

(B)  Date and time of pronouncement of brain death.

(C)  Name of procurement organizations and coordinator.

(D)  Organs requested.

(E)  Organ donor number and hospital.

(F)  Apparent cause and manner of death.

(G)  A brief description of alleged circumstances surrounding the death to the extent they are known at the time.

(H)  The law enforcement agency and the name of the investigating officer handling the case.

(2)  The following information, to be recorded by the organ procurement coordinator at the time of requesting permission for organ removal:

(A)  The name of the deputy coroner contacted.

(B)  The name of the pathologist contacted by the deputy coroner.

(C)  Whether permission for removal was obtained at the time, including the date and time if permission was obtained.

(D)  The coroner’s case number assigned by the deputy coroner.

(E)  If the request for organ removal is refused, the reason given for the refusal.

(3)  A checklist to be completed prior to recovery of any organ by the procurement organization coordinator with the assistance, if necessary, of a physician attending the deceased, that includes, at a minimum, all of the following:

(A)  medical record review to insure documentation of external injuries, fractures, and internal injuries.

(B)  In cases of suspected child abuse, whether:

(i)  A child abuse consult was obtained.

(ii)  A computerized axial tomographic scan or magnetic resonance image of the head was obtained.

(iii)  A radiological skeletal survey was done.

(iv)  The presence or absence of visible injury to the back of the scalp, ears, nose, and mouth, or retinal hemorrhage has been documented.

(v)  A coagulation screen report was in the deceased’s records.

(C)  A photographic record of visible external injuries.

(D)  Admitting blood sample, if available, and the date and time the sample was drawn.

(4)  A checklist of items to be provided to the coroner’s office when the deceased’s body is released after completion of organ recovery, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(A)  A copy of the deceased’s medical records.

(B)  Film documenting abnormal findings, if used.

(C)  The information recorded pursuant to the requirements of this subdivision.

(D)  A sample of the deceased’s blood, if taken on admission.

(5)  A form, completed by the physician and surgeon, technician, or team performing the organ recovery procedure and signed by the physician and surgeon, that describes in sufficient detail all of the following:

(A)  Tests used to determine the suitability for transplantation of all organs recovered.

(B)  Documentation of injuries and other abnormalities, if any, noted or occurring during the organ recovery procedure.

(C)  The date and time organ recovery was started.

(D)  Any other information on the state of the deceased’s body or organs that the physician and surgeon, technician, or team believes may assist the coroner in his or her investigation or inquiry.

(c)  The requirements of subdivision (a) shall not apply in any county that does not have a Level II trauma facility, as defined in Section 1798.160 and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto.

(d)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a health care provider may release the information described in this section to the procurement organization, the coroner, or the medical examiner.

(e)  For purposes of this section, “organ” or “organs” means internal whole organs, including, but not limited to, the heart, kidneys, the liver, and lungs, but does not include eyes, skin, or other similar tissue.

(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 827, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1997.)

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