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Uniform Anatomical Gift Act

The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act is one of the uniform acts that attempt to harmonize the law in force in the fifty U.S. states.

This law governs organ donations for the purpose of transplantation, and it also governs the making of anatomical gifts of your cadaver to be dissected in the study of medicine. The law prescribes the forms by which such gifts can be made. It also provides that in the absence of such a document, a surviving spouse, or if there is no spouse, a list of specific relatives in order of preference, can make the gift. It also seeks to limit the liability of health care providers who act on good faith representations that a deceased patient meant to make an anatomical gift.

The proposed law has been recently revised to make the process of making an anatomical gift more streamlined. Formerly, anatomical gifts had to be executed with testamentary formalities, including the creation of a written instrument with two witnesses. The latest version of the statute eliminates the requirement of the witnesses. This change is to encourage the practice of allowing an anatomical gift to be made by a notation on a driver's license.

The act also prohibits trafficking in donated human organs for profit.

For more information about making an anatomical gift, see: funeral.