Watch Alexandra Glazier, JD, MPH Vice President and General Counsel, New England Organ Bank, discuss Why Gift Law Matters: The Law and Ethics of Donor Designation from the UNOS Region 6 Forum in Seattle, WA
Legal Next of Kin Donation Authorization
If a patient is not a registered donor the donation decision falls to their Legal Next of Kin (LNOK). There is a LNOK decision making hierarchy in every state. Below are links to the LNOK hierarchies for Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Washington.
Alaska: Decision making hierarchy can be found in Sec. 13.52.197. Who may make anatomical gift of decedent’s body or part
Idaho: Decision making hierarchy can be found in Section 39-3404
LifeCenter Northwest and the hospital will always follow the hierarchy outlined by the state where the hospital is located.
If a patient has no family or designated decision maker, their body becomes the responsibility of the Medical Examiner (ME) or the Coroner of the county they die in. In this case, the ME or Coroner would have the responsibility to authorize or deny donation. LifeCenter will work with the hospital and ME/Coroner to determine if donation is possible in these cases.
The LifeCenter Northwest Family Services Team offers care and support to any and all appropriate family/friends involved in the donation process, regardless of their decision making power.