Medcure, One of Seven American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) Accredited Organizations, Continues Support State Body Donation Regulation

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Body donation is a very personal, yet unregulated industry. How is it that an individual can donate their body to science without any state or federal regulation, in stark contrast to heavily monitored organ donation? Senate Bill 144 argued that Oregon should regulate body donation similarly to organ donation and it failed to pass.

Accreditation ensures that life-saving transplant opportunities come first, that researchers are safe from infectious diseases, and that individuals who choose to donate are treated with the highest ethical standards.

MedCure, one of only seven organizations accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), objects to the lack of state regulations on whole-body donation programs. Body donation is critical to advancing medical science through the practice of non-invasive surgical techniques, testing innovative healthcare technology and implants, and the practice of more complicated surgeries like organ transplant.

MedCure’s legislative efforts have been sparked by the stark differences that can be seen in the standards and practices of nationally accredited whole-body donation organizations compared to those that lack accreditation. Accreditation ensures that life-saving transplant opportunities come first, that researchers are safe from infectious diseases, and that individuals who choose to donate are treated with the highest ethical standards. Senate Bill 144 would have made national accreditation mandatory for all organizations operating in Oregon state and would have reported audit findings to the Oregon Health Authority. Senator Monnes-Anderson strongly supported these efforts, however opponents of the bill remained unswayed by its obvious merits. Regardless of the outcome, MedCure highly encourages anyone who considers body donation for medical research to investigate their options and look for accreditation before selecting a program.

As noted in the American Association of Tissue Banks standards “Non-Transplant Anatomical Donation (NTAD) is in the form of whole-body donation or donations of specific tissues or organs such as the brain. NTAD can occur after recovery of organs and/or tissue for transplant, or when donation for transplantation is not an option. Donation for transplant shall take precedence over NTAD.” Life comes first and transplant will always hold priority over non-transplant donation. Non-transplant donation, however, must be subject to the same regulations in order to advance science, protect researchers, and demonstrate respect for donors and their families.

According to http://www.organdonor.gov, only three in one thousand people die in a manner that is suitable for transplant donation. By opting for whole body donation as a second choice, generous donors can save future lives by providing medical researchers with the means to improve the understanding and practice of medicine. Both MedCure and Science Care are AATB-accredited organizations that operate in the state of Oregon. Both supported Senate Bill 144 and now are closely watching the progress of HR-1835 in the US House of Representatives.

MedCure also endorses Nevada State Senate Bill 387 mandating whole-body donation accreditation. This proposal, introduced by the Nevada Donor Network, is under consideration for the current legislative session. In the interests of public health, accreditation must be required for whole-body donation in Nevada, in Oregon, and elsewhere.

To learn more about whole body donation, visit the AATB’s website, https://www.aatb.org/?q=about-us/about-nados.

About MedCure

MedCure helps those who choose to leave a lasting legacy at the end of their lives. With compassion, respect, a commitment to the highest ethical standards and the utmost regard for safety, MedCure facilitates whole body donations for medical research and education. An AATB-accredited, non-transplant tissue bank, MedCure provides state of the art lab and training facilities, and supplies anatomical specimens to medical and scientific professionals, enabling the hands-on experience necessary to advance healthcare and ensure patient safety.

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Heidi Kayser
MedCure
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MedCure Whole Body Donation
since: 06/2011
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MEDCURE Whole Body Donation

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