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September 24, 1982

The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act

JAMA. 1982;248(12):1452. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330120022020

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To the Editor.—  The Council on Scientific Affairs has addressed the issue of organ donor recruitment (1982; 246:2157). Reference is made to the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA), which does not always involve "donation." The UAGA takes away the individual's right to refuse being an organ donor unless there is available an "actual notice of contrary indications by the decedent." In the absence of such actual notice, there is incorporated into the UAGA a descending order of classes of persons who may grant authority for use of "all or any part of the decedent's body," eventually reaching "any other person authorized or under obligation to dispose of the body."Furthermore, "the persons authorized... may make the gift after death or immediately before death." While the UAGA does not distinguish these two states, there is certainly a difference from the point of view of the defenseless individual. While the members of