A Crumbling Keystone: Rebuilding Pennsylvania’s Twenty-Year-Old Anatomical Gift Legislation
Volume 88, No. 3, Spring 2016
By Elizabeth L. Coyne, J.D. Candidate, Temple University Beasley School of Law, 2016 [PDF]

This Comment argues that passing the Donate Life PA Act is necessary for Pennsylvania to regain its place as a national leader in organ and tissue donation. Part II.A details the history of anatomical gift legislation in the United States, and Part II.B discusses the 1994 Pennsylvania law that not only influenced federal legislation, but became a model for best practices across the nation. In Part II.C, this Comment highlights how traditional legal frameworks that touch on property and death have changed to accommodate organ donation. Part II.D then discusses recent developments in anatomical gift policies and Pennsylvania’s reluctance to adopt modern legislation due to the perception that such laws may interfere with criminal investigations. Section III discusses the merits of this concern and proposes some solutions to appease the Act’s political opponents. In Part III.D, this Comment suggests that Pennsylvania enact the proposed legislation to modernize the Commonwealth’s anatomical gift policy and reduce its transplant waiting list.