The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act

The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act

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The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act

The availability of differing laws across different states is often termed as the reason for the enactment of a national statute that preempts laws created by state and creates one, uniform regulation. An alternative option to congressional intervention is for states to embrace uniform statutes. Like legal actions that happen at the multistate level, enactment of uniform state laws uphold prerogative through the national government. The initiative was made formal via the formation of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) or the he Uniform Law Commission (ULC) that came into force in 1892 (Burgess, 2006). The provision seeks to offer states with non-partisan, well-formed, and well-crafted regulations that fosters stability and clarity to key areas of statutory laws (Heinonline, n.a.). The ULC comprises of legal experts, judges, and attorneys from all states who engage in extensive discussions to agree on the formation of model acts and uniform laws (ULC, 2022). Each state has the choice to enact the written laws by organization that receives its funding from state appropriations, thus complying its laws with a matter to the laws of other implementing states. The implementation process, however, can be exceedingly lengthy (Bowman, 2004). However, the public policy that forms the basis for this analysis is the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA) that was formed by the NCCUSL and enacted in 1968. The regulation has since been revised a couple of times, in 1987 and 2006 (Vehheijde et al., 2007). Thus, it is apparent that the policy area has existed for some time now. The policy outlines a regulatory model for the donation of various human body parts in America, including tissues and organs. In other words, UAGA was revised to allow the use of life support systems at or nearing death with the goal of enhancing procurement opportunities for body organs that are appropriate for donation or transplantation. The directive helps to regulate body donations to education, medicinal practices and institutions, science. The issue with the ULC public policy is that patients lack the chance to give their views on the transplantation of their organs, an issue that requires considerable attention to promote autonomy.

The key issue with UAGA is that it poses significant constraints to the Patient Self Determination Act (PSDA) outlined in advanced care directives and self-expressions concerning the utilization of support systems during end-of-life care. The constraints are stated on the UAGA reviewing the default choices to presumption of donation intent and the utilization of life support systems to achieve medical suitability of organs for donations and transplantation. The default option overrides the expressed intention in a person’s advanced health care decision to withdraw or withhold life support structures during the end-of-life support. Besides, the revised version of UAGA counters advance guidelines on utilitarian directives, which is a crucial ethical violation to society (Vehheijde et al., 2007). The intricate advancement of the refined version of UAGA towards the presumption concerning how to dispose an individual’s organs at the time of death can create the chance for an affirmative obligation to give out a body organ. It is essential to cate about the issue because as things stand as they are now, patients will not have the right to determine the healthcare services that they get (Vehheijde et al., 2007). Furthermore, the area deserves considerable attention to make sure that the right of a patient to self-determination in healthcare is safeguarded and communicated (Vehheijde et al., 2007). Moreover, shedding more light onto the matter will ensure that patients receive written information concerning their rights as provided for under state laws to come up with decisions regarding medical care, encompassing the privilege to make advance guidance.

Demographic factors play fundamental roles on how the U.S. relates to the policy. Lack of awareness regarding the provisions of the law is a critical factor determining its applicability. It is likely to witness significant violations in scenarios where people lack information about the law, and the chances of acting against PSDA is high (Teoli & Ghassemzadeh, 2021). Besides, patient’s age could determine whether UAGA takes effect as appropriate as possible or whether it would be possible to encounter certain complications. Relatively younger patients may not be aware of the provision, and therefore may not contribute their views toward the care that they receive. On the other hand, some adults may advocate for effective application of UAGA, but older adults may not push steadily in this area. Thus, various demographic factors influence how the nation handles the policy.

The money needed to fund the implementation of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act comes from the federal government, and not evidence shows that financial constraints has derailed the implementation process. Activities related to the practice have happened effectively since its inception, thanks to the financial aid the implementers receive from the mandated body (Zee, 2008). Besides, overseeing how the disbursed funds work by Congress play crucial roles in ensuring the money is put into good use.

Technology serves purposeful functions in determining how people interact with the policy. It is now possible to acquire a lot of valuable information about the applicability of the regulatio0n, thanks to the Internet that allows people to access information about many topics, including how the regulation works. It is also possible to access information about the applicability of UAGA regardless of one’s location. The other way in which technology has facilitated interaction with the policy is that it is now possible to determine whether a person’s body organs are viable for transplantation or donation without performing any operations. Various machines now exist to show any defects on the organs that could deter others from being recipients either due to defects or other constraints. Hence, the impact of technology in the way people interact with the policy is evident.

It is apparent globalization has impacted significantly the concerns of the policy. People would want to know how similar provisions work in other countries and how they impact on individuals. In many instances, people would check online or on print publication about the regulations other nations follow when it comes to directing the selling or transplantation of body organs, and find out if they challenge other existing public policies as it happens in the U.S. where the existence of the revised UAGA seems to be impacting significantly on the implementation of the PSDA. Knowing how similar policies work in other jurisdictions provides the chance to make changes in places where they really matter, and to determine whether anything needs to change to make the policy more effective (Vehheijde et al., 2007). Besides, the changes happening in other parts of the world urge the developers of UAGA to embrace the need to make constant reviews on the policy to make it more effective and appropriate in the way it serves.

Also important is that cultural norms play fundamental roles in impacting on the policy issue. In America, citizens believe that they have a chance to contribute towards the health services that they receive by giving opinions on what they think suit them the most. Most patients, as provided for in the American culture believe in the ethical principle of autonomy, which holds that every patient have the right to give their views on the health services that they receive (Zee, 2008). Thus, it is expected that Americans are likely to be repulsive when they learn that UAGA could deter them from exercising their right as provided for in PSDA. Therefore, cultural norms could play critical functions in facilitating changes so that the issue does not become an impediment in healthcare delivery.

Embracing intergovernmental relations would play critical functions in dealing with the issue in the public policy that have far-reaching implications without proper care. Vehheijde et al. (2007) believes that there are at least two approaches needed to mitigate the concerns. First, hospitals and physicians should serve as a unit with a common objective of educating patients about the new regulations and record their preferences and desires concerning their utilization of life support machines for organ transplant during end-of-life support. The other option is that key stakeholders should join hands to initiate extensive societal discussions to determine if the revised version of the UAGA impacts on the PSDA and the client’s right to make choices (autonomy) (McIntosh, 1990). The joint team while holding the discussions should also focus on other ethical issues caused by the revised version, encompassing the moral debate on the interpretations of the denial of life support devices as not relevant to organ distribution as well as touch on the ignoring of the diversity of cultural thoughts concerning end-of-life in a multicultural society. Effective applications of these mitigating measures will play fundamental roles in mitigating the issue. However, the assignment settles on educating the public about how UAGA and PSDA work as the most effective intervention mechanism that would help to avert any concerns.

All the levels of the government (judiciary, executive, and legislature) should join hands to achieve effective implementation of UAGA. The legislature should give clear meaning of the regulation because it is the origin of the policy. The executive, on the other hand, should provide adequate resources to facilitate the education process to ensure that every citizen understands their rights and roles when it comes to the implementation of the regulation. The judiciary, on its part, should oversee adherence to the legislation and possibly charge those who act contrary. The intergovernmental collaboration should emphasize on providing necessary financial aid as well as conduct their activities in accordance with existing regulations to avoid any form of violation.   

Even though educating the masses appears to be the most suitable option for dealing with the issue, it is possible to explore other possible options that would work effectively well in addressing the matter. A suitable alternative in this instance is to introduce policies that determine the consequences of not following the principle of autonomy when implementing UAGA (McIntosh, 1990). Introducing and enacting such a policy would ensure that physicians abide by the regulation and do what is right. The other possible option would to make considerable adjustments to the already existing structures to ensure that the areas that are not clear get clearer overview and eradicate any controversies.

Nonetheless, it is imperative to consider some of the impediments that could derail the implementation of the suggested solutions. An apparent constraints is that some politicians may not support some of the really needed changes to ensure that patients contribute toward deciding what happens to their organs. The other political issue that could impact on the implementation of the suggested solutions is lack of focused and committed leaders who cannot identify the needed changes and work towards their implementation. Hence, dealing with the possible impediments would result in successful mitigation of the identified issue.


The essay emphasizes the need to ensure that patients have the right to make decisions even during the application of UAGA. There is need to look into the implementation of the policy because concerns exist that some patients lack the choice to make independent decisions when receiving end-of-care support, and therefore cannot determine the donation of their organs as provided for in PSDA. Therefore, the implementers of the policy should consider how people are increasingly becoming interested in the applicability of the law, particularly due to increased globalization and advancement in technology. Americans also expect to have the choice to determine their care plan as enshrined in American culture. Finding the most suitable solution as early as possible would restore normalcy in the identified area while ensuring that the right of any individual is not violated.


Bowman, A. (2004). Horizontal federalism: Exploring interstate interactions. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 14(4), 535-546. doi: 10. 1093/jopart/muh035

Burgess, M. (2006). Comparative federalism: Theory and practice. New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN13 978–0–415–36454–6

Heinonline. (n.a.). National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

McIntosh, A. (1990). Regulating the “gift of life”—The 1987 Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. Washington Law Review, 65(1), 171-188.

Teoli, D., & Ghassemzadeh, S. (2021). Patient Self-Determination Act.

ULC. (2022). About us.,areas%20of%20state%20statutory%20law .

Vehheijde, J., Rady, M., & McGregor, J. (2007). The United States Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (2006): New challenges to balancing patient rights and physician responsibilities. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, 2(19), doi: 10.1186/1747-5341-2-19

Zee, J. (2008). The revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act: Bringing “California donation law up to contemporary medical, legal, and bioethical practices. Health and Safety, 6, 529-543.

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