Health #2 January 10, 2001 The Self Help Legal Center Assisted by Ms. Shawna DeMarie SIU School Of Law Carbondale, IL 62901 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Table of Contents 2 Disclaimer and Symbols you should look for 3 Warning to all readers; Free sources of legal help 4 Who these people are 5 Publications on organ donation 6 What these legal terms mean 7-8 Summary of the law in this area 9 How do I become a donor? 10- 11 Who can I donate to? 12 Myths 13 3 Disclaimer — Please read This packet of information was prepared to answer general questions and give general advice about the law in Illinois. This packet may or may not also include forms that you can use. When reading this packet or using the forms, keep in mind that the advice, information, and forms were created to assist readers with general issues, not specific situations, and as such does not replace the advice or representation of an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Illinois. Because of this and because of unanticipated changes in the law, the School of Law at Southern Illinois University and the person, institution, or agency who gave you this packet make no claim as to whether the use of this packet will acheive the result you desire and disclaim any responsibility for the consequences of any form prepared or action taken in reliance upon the information in this packet. If you are concerned or do not understand whether this packet will be of assistance to you or will apply to your specific situation, you should talk to an attorney who is licensed to practice in the State of Illinois. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, Look for these symbols to tell you when to: USE CAUTION! STOP! This is a You need legal complicated step representation or so pay attention. advice to continue. GO! CHECK IT OUT! You can proceed This issue is to the next step. discussed in another packet. 4 Warning to all readers Before you proceed with using this Free sources of legal help packet, you should ask yourself the following questions: Land Of Lincoln Legal Assistance 1. Have I tried to consult a private attorney? Serves the 65 southernmost counties in Illinois No self-help publication, packet, or form can replace the advice and experience of a Phone: (618) 462-0036 licensed attorney. An attorney may not Toll free: (877) 342-7891 cost as much as you think, especially if you just need to ask questions. Before you proceed on your own, call several local attorneys, compare prices, and find out Prairie State Legal Services whether you can pay an attorney or not. Serves most of northern and north central Illinois outside of Cook County 2. If I cannot afford an attorney, have I tried to find a free source of Phone: (815) 965-2134 legal assistance? There are several agencies which provide Coordinated Advice and Referral legal assistance for free to certain groups Program for Legal Services of individuals. Some of these agencies are listed to the right. While they may not be Serves Cook County able to help you with a particular problem, Phone: (312) 738-9494 it does not hurt to call them to find out before you proceed on your own. West Central Legal Assistance 3. Is this something that I can do Serves Knox, Henderson, Stark, on my own? Warren, McDonough and Fulton If you have trouble following directions, counties or have difficulty reading, writing, or Phone: (800) 331-0617 speaking in public, you may not be able to follow the directions and advice in this Will County Legal Assistance packet. If this is the case, find a friend Serves Will County or someone who can help you before your proceed on your own. Phone: (815) 727-5123 Who these people are 5 Judge: The judge is the person who presides over the courtroom. In most cases, including divorce cases, the judge makes all of the final decisions and approves all agreements. When a judge makes a decision or a finding, it has the force of law. The judge also sets and enforces court rules (like dress codes) and in some courthouses, the judge decides when cases are scheduled. Circuit Clerk: The Circuit Clerk is responsible for creating, managing, and updating court files. When you want to put something in a court file, see a court file, or make a copy of something in a court file, you talk to the Circuit Clerk’s staff. In some courthouses, the Circuit Clerk also decides when cases are scheduled. Sheriff: The Sheriff’s main duty is to keep the peace and to enforce the law. His/ her role in the legal system, however, is usually to “serve” (give notice) to people of pending or upcoming court cases or hearings. The sheriff does this by giving the person a notice called a “summons” . The sheriff also enforces the judge’s orders. Attorney: An attorney is someone who can help you with your legal problem by providing you with advice about the law, the legal system, and the merits of your case. An attorney can act as your advocate and can represent you in court and in negotiation settlements. Publications on organ donation 6 Disclaimer: Please Read !! The following is a list of publications which discuss the issues of organ donation. Some of these publications are specific to Illinois and others are more general in nature. Because of this and because of unanticipated changes in the law, the School of Law at Southern Illinois University and the person, institution, or agency who gave you this packet make no claim as to the accuracy of the content of these publications including whether they will acheive the result you desire. The School of Law at Southern Illinois University and the person, institution, or agency who gave you this packet disclaim any responsibility for the consequences of any action taken in reliance upon the information in these publications. If you are concerned or do not understand whether a particular book will be of assistance to you or will apply to your specific situation, you should talk to the publication’s publisher or an attorney who is licensed to practice in the State of Illinois. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, call the Self Help Legal Center. Internet sites that give information about organ donation: www.organdonor.gov (the federal government’s website) www.unos.org (The United Network for Organ Sharing operates the Organ Pro- curement and Transplantation Network which is the federal program that oversees the nation’s organ donation process) Illinois organ procurement agencies: Regional Organ Bank of Illinois (ROBI) 800 South Wells St. Suite 190 Chicago, IL 60607 Phone: 1-800-GIFT Serves central and northern Illinois Mid American Transplant Services Association (MTS) 1139 Olivette Executive Parkway #102 St. Louis, MO 63132 Phone: 1-800-87-DONOR Serves southern Illinois and southeast Missouri What these legal words mean 7 bank A facility licensed by the state for the storage of human bodies circuit The judicial system in Illinois is divided into Circuits. Each circuit defines a particular geographic area in Illinois. death The irreversible cessation of total brain functio n, according to the standards of medical practice decedent A deceased individual; includes a stillborn infant or fetus. donor An individual who makes a gift of all or parts of his body. hospital A hospital licensed, accredited or approved under the state law. judgment A decision or order of the court. jurisdiction Whether the court in a particular state has the power to hear a case or to order someone to do something depends upon whether it has “jurisdiction” . Jurisdiction can be either over a person or overa subject. For a state court to have jurisdiction over a person, generally, the person must either reside in the state or have committed an act in the state. What these legal words mean 8 motion A written or oral request to the judge after a lawsuit has been started (see petition). notary public A person who verifies that a signature on a document. The notary public does not verify the content of the document itself. organ procurement agency An agency that helps carry out the donor’s wishes, and helps with the delivery of the organs to the recipients. These agencies are federally accredited for the area they serve. part Organs, tissues, eyes, bones, arteries, blood, other fluids or portio ns of the human body. person An individual, corporation, government or government agency, business trust, estate trust, partnership or association of any other legal entity. petition A written request to the court. A petition usually starts a lawsuit. physician A doctor or surgeon licensed or authorized to practice medicine. pro-se A person who is not represented by an attorney. state Any state, district, commonwealth, territory, insular possession and any other area subject to the legislative authority of the United State of America. technician An individual trained and certified to remove tissue. Summary of the law in this area 9 The law that governs organ donation is Illinois Public Act 76-1209, the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. It sets forth rules and regulations concerning all aspects of organ donation. Who can donate? As stated by the law, persons able to donate are anyone over 18 with a sound mind. If there is no opposition by the decedent, the person’s family, in the order of priority and on availability, may make the decision to donate part of or the entire body of the decedent, on the condition that there is no opposition in that same priority class. For instance, if there is no spouse of the decedent or no agent under power of attorney, the children of the decedent would have the priority to decide if the body or any part of it is to be donated. However, if any one of the available children object to a donation and the donees (the children who decide to donate) have actual notice of this opposition to the gift, then no gift of all or any part of the decedent’s body shall be accepted. In the alternative, if the children give consent to donate a part of the body, but a grandchild objects, that objection does not matter because that grandchild is not in the highest available priority class (i.e. only the children have a valid objection) For the purposes of this Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, a person will not be considered “available” for the giving of consent or refusal if 1) the existence of the person is unknown to the donee and is not readily ascertainable through the examination of the decedent’s hospital records and the questioning of any persons who are available for giving consent, 2) the donee has unsuccessfully attempted to contact the person by telephone or in any other reasonable manner 3) the person is unable or unwilling to respond in a manner which indicates the person’s refusal or consent. Summary of the law in this area cont. 10 The order of the priority of the donee is as follows: (1) the decedent’s agent under a power of attorney for health care which provides for specific direction regarding organ donation (2) the decedent’s spouse (3) the decedent’s adult sons or daughters (4) either of the decedent’s parents (5) any of the decedent’s adult brothers or sisters (6) any adult grandchild of the decedent (7) the guardian of the decedent’s estate (8) the decedent’s surrogate decision maker under the Health Care Surrogate Act (9) any person authorized or under obligation to dispose of the body How do I become a donor? 11 You can become a donor in one of several ways: (1) Go to your local driver's license facility and ask that your donor status be changed on your driver's license or identification card. Two witnesses will need to sign it at the time of the change. The witnesses are certifying that the donor was of sound mind when the card was signed. This must be carried on the person at all times. (2) Add to your will that you wish to be an organ donor. The donation will become effective at death. The dona- tion does not wait if the will is contested. If the will is contested, the donation remains valid as long as it was done in good faith. How do I become a donor? 12 (3) Register to become a donor online. Go to www. organdonor.gov/signup.html. The website will have instruc- tions and steps to follow. (4) Your loved one could give consent for the donation at the time of your death. Hospital physicians will notify the organ procure- ment agencies when there is a potential donor. Hospital staff will not obtain consent. The organ procurement agencies will offer to counsel your family and speak about the benefits of organ donation. Only the organ procurement agencies can obtain consent from your loved one. IMPORTANT: Speaking with your family about your decision is very important. If your family does not know or understand your wishes, they might not be carried out. Remem- ber, your family can consent for or against organ donation at the time of your death. Knowing what you would like to be done at the time of your death will make the decision easier on them. The only way this can be accomplished is through communication. Speak with your family. Who can I donate to? 13 Only certain persons and facilities may accept donated organs. Those that may accept a donation include: (1) any hospital, surgeon or physician for medical research or transplant; (2) any medical, mortuary, dental or chiropractic school for education; (3) any bank or storage facility for research or transplant; (4) any individuals specified for transplantation or treatment. By specified individuals, it is meant that someone named by the de- cedent to receive the organs. If that person is not available at the time of death, then the physician may accept the organ for other transplanting purposes. This can only happen if the decedent did not specify otherwise. Myths 14 I can be paid for my organs Payment for organs is illegal in the United States of America. In the state of Illinois, anyone who pays or receives payment for organs is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for the first conviction and a Class 4 felony for any convictions after the first. I am too old to donate my organs Determining whether organs are transplantable or not depends on medical condition, not age. Anyone from a newborn child to a senior citizen can donate. Anyone under 18 years of age must have parental consent before donation can occur. I won’t receive adequate medical care if I designate myself as an organ donor Medical staff is required to use all medical technology at their disposal to help an injured person. In fact, the physician who treats the potential donor cannot be the physician who receives the donated organs on behalf of a recipient. This means that if one physician treats the donor, the surgeon receiving the organs for transplantation must be a different physician.
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