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Organ Court Divorce Records


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  • pg 1
									    Health #2
 January 10, 2001

  The Self Help Legal Center
Assisted by Ms. Shawna DeMarie
        SIU School Of Law
       Carbondale, IL 62901

                 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-

Who can I donate to?                                  12

Myths                                                 13

           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!

                                                          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.

                 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
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


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

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.


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.


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

                                        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

                                A facility licensed by the state for the storage of human bodies

                                The judicial system in Illinois is divided into Circuits. Each circuit
                                defines a particular geographic area in Illinois.

   The irreversible cessation of total brain functio n, according to the standards of medical practice

                       A deceased individual; includes a stillborn infant or fetus.

                       An individual who makes a gift of all or parts of his body.

                    A hospital licensed, accredited or approved under the state law.

                                   A decision or order of the court.

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

                                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

       Organs, tissues, eyes, bones, arteries, blood, other fluids or portio ns of the human body.

An individual, corporation, government or government agency, business trust, estate trust, partnership
or association of any other legal entity.

               A written request to the court. A petition usually starts a lawsuit.

                A doctor or surgeon licensed or authorized to practice medicine.

                          A person who is not represented by an attorney.

Any state, district, commonwealth, territory, insular possession and any other area subject to the
legislative authority of the United State of America.

                        An individual trained and certified to remove tissue.
            Summary of the law in this area

                         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

                                              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.

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?

                      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


(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?

(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.


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?

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


(2) any medical, mortuary, dental or chiropractic school for


(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.

                                          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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