Sending Office: Honorable Bobby L. Rush
Cosponsors (8): Bilirakis, Crenshaw, Luetkemeyer, Marshall,
Pappas, Rutherford, Stivers, Watkins
We write to request your support for
H.R. 1835, the Consensual Donation and Research Integrity Act of 2019.
While many families chose burial or cremation, some families choose to donate their deceased loved one’s organs and tissue for transplantation or choose a full body donation for purposes of medical education or research. Choices
that can be meaningful and healing for the family.
When a family donates a loved one’s organs or tissues for transplantation, the process is transparent and tightly regulated. However, no federal law governs the process when a body is donated for use in medical
research or education. In fact, in almost every state, it remains legal to sell the human remains of adults. Few state laws provide any oversight whatsoever and almost anyone, regardless of expertise, can dissect and sell human body parts. Bodies and body
parts can be bought, sold, and leased, again and again. As a result, it can be difficult to track what becomes of donors’ bodies, ensure that they are handled with dignity, and returned to their loved ones after cremation.
The Consensual Donation and Research Integrity Act transforms the landscape of tissue and whole-body donation by preventing body brokers from taking advantage of the generosity of donors and donor families.
Specifically, the bill directs anyone who acquires or transfers a human body or human body part for education, research, or the advancement of medical, dental, or mortuary science (and not for use in human transplantation) to register
with the Secretary of Health & Human Services, compile or maintain a complete record for each case, and label and package remains in accordance with law and dispose of them by returning them to a donor’s relative or personal representative.
Families that donate a loved one’s body for research or education find comfort in knowing their loved one will help improve the health and wellness of others. We hope you will join us in bringing accountability and transparency
to this process and help ensure that donors’ bodies are always treated with dignity and respect.
Bobby L. Rush Gus M. Bilirakis
Member of Congress Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0