New Kentucky bill requires medical examiners to verify donor status

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FRANKFORT, Ky. – A new Kentucky house bill passed Monday, January 29, will go to the state Senate for approval.

Under House Bill 84, coroners and medical examiners will be required to verify organ and tissue donation wishes of the deceased while in their care.

Coroners/M.E. will need to release relevant and identifying information about a deceased person to the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA)  if the person’s body is acceptable for transplant or therapy needs.

Right now, that information is only released to KODA upon the agency’s request, which impacts the urgency of preserving organs.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Lynn Bechler (R-Marion) who filed the bill in honor of the late Courtney Flear.

Flear was a 19-year old woman killed in a car crash in 2015 and although she was a registered organ donor, Bechler said KODA was never notified upon her death.

A provision in HB 84 would allow the bill to also be referred to as Courtney’s Law in memory of her.

There were concerns about whether the bill would require KODA being contacted before the deceased person’s family.

Rep. Bechler says that there is nothing in the bill that would stop coroners/M/E. from notifying the family of the deceased at any time.

HB 84 now goes to the Senate for consideration after passing in the House by a vote of 88 to 0.

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About the Author:

Corey Bryant serves as Director of Communications for The Alliance.
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