New York State Public Health Law Section 4301 regulates who may execute an anatomical gift.
1. Persons Permitted to Make Anatomical Gifts. Any individual of sound mind and eighteen years of age or more may give all or any part of his or her body for certain purposes. The gift takes effect at death. In any case where the donor has properly executed an organ donor card, driver’s license authorization to make an anatomical gift, registered in the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, or has otherwise given written authorization for organ or tissue donation, authorization for donation may not be rescinded by an objection from any of the persons described in Section 2, below.
2. Persons Other Than Decedent Permitted to Make Anatomical Gifts. Any of the following persons, in the order of priority stated, may when persons in prior classes are not available at the time of death, and in the absence of actual notice of contrary indications by the decedent, or actual notice of opposition by a member of the same class or prior class specified in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e) of this subdivision, or reason to believe that an anatomical gift is contrary to the decedent’s religious or moral beliefs, give all or any part of the decedent’s body for certain purposes:
(a) the spouse,
(b) a son or daughter eighteen years of age or older,
(c) either parent,
(d) a brother or sister eighteen years of age or older,
(e) a guardian of the person of the decedent at the time of his death,
(f) any other person authorized or under the obligation to dispose of the body.
3. Prohibited Anatomical Gifts. The donee shall not accept the gift under the following circumstances:
(a) the donee has actual notice of contrary indication by the decedent;
(b) where the donor has not properly executed an organ donor card, driver’s license authorization to make an anatomical gift, registered in the New York state Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, or otherwise given written authorization for organ or tissue donation, or has revoked any such authorization, and the gift is opposed by a person or persons in the highest priority set forth in Section 2, above; or
(c) the donee has reason to believe that an anatomical gift is contrary to the decedent’s religious or moral beliefs.
4. Authorization of Examination. A gift of all or part of a body authorizes any examination necessary to assure medical acceptability of gift for the purposes intended.
5. Permissible Donees. The following persons may become donees of gifts or bodies or parts thereof for the purposes stated:
5.1. any hospital, surgeon, or physician, for medical or dental education, research, advancement of medical or dental science, therapy, or transplantation; or
5.2. any accredited medical or dental school, college or university for education, research, advancement of medical or dental science, or therapy; or
5.3. any bank or storage facility, for medical or dental education, research, advancement of medical or dental science, therapy or transplantation; or
5.4. any specific donee, for therapy or transplantation needed by him.
5.5. an organ procurement organization meeting certain requirements.
6. Manner of Executing Anatomical Gifts.
6.1. A gift of all or part of the body may be made by will. The gift becomes effective upon the death of the testator without waiting for probate. If the will is not probated, or if it is declared invalid for testamentary purposes, the gift, to the extent that it has been acted upon in good faith, is nevertheless valid and effective.
6.2. A gift of all or part of the body under this article may also be made by document other than a will. The gift becomes effective upon the death of the donor. The document, which may be a card designed to be carried on the person, must be signed by the donor. Delivery of the document of gift during the donor’s lifetime is not necessary to make the gift valid.
6.3. The gift may be made either to a specified donee or without specifying a donee. If the latter, the gift may be accepted by and utilized under the direction of the attending physician upon or following death. If the gift is made to a specified donee who is not available at the time and place of death, the attending physician, upon or following death, in the absence of any expressed indication that the donor desired otherwise, may accept the gift as donee. The physician who becomes a donee under this subdivision shall not participate in the procedures for removing or transplanting a part.
6.4. The donor may designate in his will, card, or other document of gift the surgeon or physician to carry out the appropriate procedures. In the absence of a designation, or if the designee is not available, the donee or other person authorized to accept the gift may employ or authorize any surgeon or physician for the purpose.
7. Revocation of Anatomical Gift.
7.1. If the will, card, or other document or executed copy thereof has been delivered to a specified donee, the donor may amend or revoke the gift by:
(a) the execution and delivery to the donee of a signed statement, or
(b) an oral statement of revocation made in the presence of two persons, communicated to the donee, or
(c) a statement during a terminal illness or injury addressed to an attending physician and communicated to the donee, or
(d) a signed card or document, found on his person or in his effects.
7.2. Any document of gift which has not been delivered to the donee may also be revoked by destruction, cancellation, or mutilation of the document and all executed copies thereof.
7.3. Any gift made by a will may be revoked or amended in the manner provided for revocation or amendment of wills.