Rush and Bilirakis Introduce Bill to Create Registry System for Body Parts Donated for Research

Mar 19, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) and Gus M. Bilirakis (R-Fla.) introduced H.R. 1835, the Consensual Donation and Research Integrity Act of 2019.  This legislation will create a registration and tracking system for bodies and body parts donated for research and guarantees their respectful disposition.

“I am proud to work on this issue in a bipartisan manner with my colleague, Rep. Bilirakis.  Our bill represents a significant step towards ensuring that those who selflessly choose to advance scientific research do not do so at the expense of their dignity.  This bill also provides safeguards for survivors, who are often approached to donate, and ensures that they are not misinformed or swindled and that there have been no false promises made to them by the unregulated bad actors in this space,” said Rush.

H.R. 1835 amends the Public Health Service Act to ensure the consensual donation and respectful disposition of human bodies and human body parts donated or transferred for education, research, or the advancement of medical, dental, or mortuary science.

“This important legislation provides safeguards to ensure that human remains are disposed of in a manner that preserves the dignity and choices of the patient or next of kin.  The industry has been largely unregulated and sadly many families have been exploited for profit.  Our bill gives family members the peace of mind of knowing that their wishes are being honored,” said Bilirakis.

“Body brokers have made an untold amount of money at the expense of grief-stricken loved ones.  By introducing this legislation, we are sending a clear message that this practice is unacceptable.  I am grateful to Rep. Bilirakis for joining me in this important effort and I know we both look forward to its passage,” said Rush.