Doctors Must Screen Diseased Organs ~ OPOLAW Injury Blog

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Doctors Must Screen Diseased Organs

A Supreme Court judge has clarified that the Massachusetts Promotion of Anatomical Science Act does not protect doctors guilty of malpractice from any liability if they give a diseased organ to a donee. The law, adopted in 29 states, prevents individuals and organizations who "act in good faith" from being sued by family members of donors who believed that their deceased's wishes were not respected. But Judge Peter Agnes reiterated that the Legislature was never intended to override the general law of medical malpractice. The ruling directly affects a tragic case where a patient by the name of Nelson Gonzalez died after being given a cancerous liver. The donor of the liver had died of brain cancer, and doctors had failed to discover that the cancer had metastasized to the liver. The doctors told Gonzalez's wife that they were protected from litigation from by the Promotion of Anatomical Science Act, after she sued them for negligence. The case of Estate of Nelson Gonzalez v. Katz, et al. will continue to go forward.

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