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FCA supports transparency in body donation–HR 4062

DECEMBER 15, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Executive Director Josh Slocum
802-865-8300, [email protected]

CONGRESS SHOULD REGULATE THE BODY PARTS TRADE 

South Burlington, VT—Funeral Consumers Alliance supports HR 4062, which would establish rules for informed donor consent and proper tracking of donated human body parts for research.

The bill, introduced by Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL) and co-sponsored by Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) would close some of the regulatory loopholes in the body parts trade. HR 4062 would:

  • require parties involved in procuring and distributing human body parts for research to register with the Secretary of Health
  • establish a documented chain-of-custody for donated human bodies and body parts destined for research
  • require that entities that procure such donated bodies and parts fully inform donor families of the uses to which these bodies or parts will be put

“Many Americans make a charitable gift of their bodies or tissue every year in order to help medical research that will benefit those in need,” said FCA Executive Director Joshua Slocum. “While the process of donating body parts for transplantation is well-regulated, the trade in parts used for research has not been. Some families have been disturbed to learn that their loved ones’ bodies have been used for purposes they wouldn’t consent to, including publicly performed autopsies.”

Funeral Consumers Alliance recognizes the humanitarian and scientific value in non-transplant research using donated human bodies and parts. The medical procedures that benefit us all could not be developed without this research. But donors and their families have a right to full and candid information about the purposes to which their donation will be put so they can make an informed decision.

HR 4062 will bring that informed consent, transparency, and responsible custodial tracking to a market this is largely unregulated. We ask Congress to vote yes on HR 4062.

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