Arizona law is clear that if someone expressed opposition to organ donation during their lifetime, no one has the authority to authorize a donation of their organs or tissues after their death. But what if a person was silent on the issue? As is the case with many areas of the law, if a person’s intent is unknown or unclear, state law establishes an order of priority for who may make the decision for them: (1) a heath care agent named in the deceased’s health care power of attorney, (2) the surviving spouse of the decedent, (3) adult children of the decedent, (4) a domestic partner of the decedent, (5) adult siblings of the decedent; etc.
If a person has an opinion on the issue of organ or tissue donation, it is best to make that opinion known. This can be done orally, by stating a preference in a valid healthcare power of attorney, and/or by registering the preference with the Arizona Donor Registry online at www.azdonationregistry.org.
If you don’t already have a healthcare power of attorney in place, or if you’d like to update your current document to include a preference on the issue of organ donation, please let us know. We’d love to help!