This note examines how Ohio anatomical gift laws have been interpreted to grant a property right to the next of kin in the decedent’s cadaverous organs. Part II of this note briefly examines the origins of anatomical gift law in the United States and in Ohio. Part III examines the codification of Ohio common law and the adoption of the 1969 Uniform Anatomical Gift Act as the foundation of Ohio’s anatomical gift laws. Part IV analyzes post 1969 Ohio cases that directly or indirectly help interpret Ohio’s anatomical gift laws, with a particular focus on the legal reasoning in Brotherton II. Part V delves into the new law’s grant of property rights in cadaverous organs to the donee and criticizes the new law because of administrative and public relations problems such changes could create. Part VII proposes a legislative alternative recommending statutory recognition of the next of kin’s property rights in cadaverous organs.
Note, Property Interests in Cadaverous Organs: Changes to Ohio Anatomical Gift Law and the Erosion of Family Rights, 17 J.L. & Health 37 (2002-2003)