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68.64.180  <<  68.64.190 >>   68.64.200

RCW 68.64.190

Coroner or medical examiner — Duties.

(1)(a) A coroner or medical examiner shall cooperate with procurement organizations, to the extent that such cooperation does not prevent, hinder, or impede the timely investigation of death, to facilitate the opportunity to recover anatomical gifts for the purpose of transplantation or therapy. However, a coroner or medical examiner may limit the number of procurement organizations with which he or she cooperates.

     (b) The coroner or medical examiner may release the initial investigative information to the tissue or organ procurement organization for the purpose of determining the suitability of the potential donor by those organizations. The information released for this purpose shall remain confidential. The coroner or medical examiner is not liable for any release of confidential information by the procurement organization.

     (2)(a) Procurement organizations shall cooperate with the coroner or medical examiner to ensure the preservation of and timely transfer to the coroner or medical examiner any physical or biological evidence from a prospective donor that the procurement organization may have contact with or access to that is required by the coroner or medical examiner for the investigation of death.

     (b) If the coroner or medical examiner or a designee releases a part for donation under subsection (4) of this section, the procurement organization, upon request, shall cause the physician or technician who removes the part to provide the coroner or medical examiner with a record describing the condition of the part, biopsies, residual tissue, photographs, and any other information and observations requested by the coroner or medical examiner that would assist in the investigation of death.

     (3) A part may not be removed from the body of a decedent under the jurisdiction of a coroner or medical examiner for transplantation, therapy, research, or education unless the part is the subject of an anatomical gift, and has been released by the coroner or medical examiner. The body of a decedent under the jurisdiction of the coroner or medical examiner may not be delivered to a person for research or education unless the body is the subject of an anatomical gift. This subsection does not preclude a coroner or medical examiner from performing the medicolegal investigation upon the body or relevant parts of a decedent under the jurisdiction of the coroner or medical examiner.

     (4) If an anatomical gift of a part from the decedent under the jurisdiction of the coroner or medical examiner has been or might be made, but the coroner or medical examiner initially believes that the recovery of the part could interfere with the postmortem investigation into the decedent's cause or manner of death, the collection of evidence, or the description, documentation, or interpretation of injuries on the body, the coroner or medical examiner may consult with the procurement organization or physician or technician designated by the procurement organization about the proposed recovery. After consultation, the coroner or medical examiner may release the part for recovery.

[2008 c 139 § 21.]