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LEGAL ACTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA
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The translation of this document is outdated.
Translation validity: 01.07.2009.–31.01.2011.
Amendments not included: 28.10.2010., 21.06.2012., 16.05.2019.
Text consolidated by Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre) with amending regulations of:

21 September 1995 (No. 154);
06 December 2001 (No. 187);
02 June 2004 (No. 96);
13 November 2008 (No. 187).

If a whole or part of a paragraph has been amended, the date of the amending regulation appears in square brackets at the end of the paragraph. If a whole paragraph or sub-paragraph has been deleted, the date of the deletion appears in square brackets beside the deleted paragraph or sub-paragraph.

The Supreme Council
of the Republic of Latvia
Law
15 December 1992

On the Protection of the Body of Deceased Human Beings and the Use of Human Tissues and Organs in Medicine

Chapter I
General Provisions

Section 1. Purpose of the Law

The purpose of this Law is to protect the body of a deceased human being from undignified and illegal actions with it. This Law prescribes the procedures by which the tissues and organs of living or deceased human beings may be used for scientific researches and study purposes, transplantation, manufacture of medicinal preparations and bioprothesis.

Section 2. Priority Right of Human Being to his or her Body

It is prohibited to use the body, tissues and organs of a deceased human being against his or her will expressed during his or her life. The observation of the will of the human being shall be mandatory for all medical treatment, educational and scientific institutions regardless of the type of activity and jurisdiction thereof unless it is in contradiction with the legislation in force.

Any human being with the capacity to act has the right to prohibit or allow the use of his or her body after his or her death by confirming it documentary.

[2 June 2004]

Section 3. Drawing up of Prohibition or Permission

If a person wants to prohibit or allow to use his or her body, tissues and organs after his or her death, he or she shall, in accordance with the procedures specified by the Cabinet, submit a submission to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

Only such prohibition or permission signed by a person with the capacity to act to use his or her body, tissues and organs after his or her death shall have legal force, regarding which information has been included in the Population Register.

The procedures by which medical treatment, educational and scientific institutions request and receive data from the Population Register regarding a prohibition or permission to use a person's body, tissues and organs after his or her death shall be determined by the Cabinet.

[6 December 2001]

Section 4. Rights of the Next of Kin

If there is no data in the Population Register regarding a prohibition or permission of a deceased human being to use his or her body, tissues and organs after his or her death, the spouse, parents, adult children, brothers or sisters (hereinafter - the next of kin) have the right to inform a medical treatment institution (tissue and organ extraction centres) regarding the will expressed during his or her life.

[2 June 2004]

Chapter II
Pathological-anatomical and Forensic Examination

Section 5. Provisions for Pathological-anatomical Examination

Pathological-anatomical examination (autopsy) of a deceased human being may be carried out, if he or she has allowed it in writing during his or her life. If the deceased human, during his or her life, has prohibited in writing to carry out pathological-anatomical examination after his or her death, it is allowed only in the cases referred to in Section 6.

In cases when the will of a deceased human being is unknown and the deceased does not have the next of kin, the issue regarding the performance of pathological-anatomical examination shall be decided by the head of the division of a medical treatment institution, if the human being has died in the medical treatment institution, or by the attending physician or the physician who has attested the fact of death, if the human being has died outside a medical treatment institution.

[6 December 2001; 2 June 2004]

Section 6. Pathological-anatomical and Forensic Examination without Taking into Account the Will of a Deceased Human Being

Pathological-anatomical examination shall be performed mandatorily without taking into account the will of a deceased human being expressed during his or her life, if:

- the possible cause of death is an infectious disease;

- the cause of death is a disease non-diagnosed or complications of prophylactic measures, medical treatment or disease non-diagnosed during his or her life; or

- the weight of a stillborn child exceeds 500 grams.

Forensic examination shall be performed mandatorily without taking into account the will of a deceased human being expressed during his or her life, if:

- the weight of a stillborn child exceeds 500 grams; or.

- the forensic examination is requested by the performer of an inquiry, investigator or prosecutor.

[6 December 2001; 2 June 2004]

Section 7. Attesting to the Fact of Death

The procedures for attesting to the fact of brain death and biological death and transferral of a deceased human being for burial shall be determined by the Cabinet.

[6 December 2001; 2 June 2004]

Section 7.1 Cremation

A merchant who has received a special permit (licence) has the right to perform cremation - burning of the body of a deceased human being in special furnaces.

The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for licensing merchants for the performance of cremation, as well as the procedures by which the State fee for the issuance of a special permit (licence) shall be paid and the amount thereof.

The documents necessary for the performance of cremation of a deceased human being, the procedures for the submission of the documents, as well as the procedures for the performance of cremation and keeping of records related thereto, shall be determined by the Cabinet.

[13 January 2008]

Section 8. Forensic Examination

[6 December 2001]

Chapter III
Removal of Tissues and Organs from Deceased Human Beings Transplantation

Section 9. Removal of Tissues and Organs during Pathological-anatomical and Forensic Examination

Samples of tissues and organs may be taken during pathological-anatomical and forensic examination without taking into account the will of a deceased human being for laboratory diagnostic investigations. Samples of organs and tissues for scientific researches and study purposes may be taken, if the deceased has permitted it during his or her life, if the will of the deceased is unknown, as well as if the will of the deceased is unknown and he or she does not have the next of kin.

[2 June 2004]

Section 10. Possibility of Transplantation

Removal of tissues and organs of a deceased human being for the purpose to transplant them to other human beings for treatment of diseases and injuries (transplantation) may be performed, if the fact of brain death or biological death of the potential donor has been attested.

Section 11. Provisions for Transplantation in Case of the Death of a Donor

In case of the death of a donor removal of tissues and organs of a deceased human being for transplantation may be performed, if there is no information in the Population Register regarding the prohibition of the deceased human being to use tissues and organs after his or her death and if until the removal of tissues and organs the next of kin of the person have not notified the medical treatment institution in writing regarding the prohibition of the deceased person to use his or her tissues and organs after his or her death expressed during his or her life. It is prohibited to remove the tissues and organs of a deceased child for transplantation, if it has not been permitted by one of his or her parents or guardian in writing.

[2 June 2004]

Section 12. Procedures for Transplantation

The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for the performance of transplantation of tissues and organs in the case of brain death and biological death.

[6 December 2001; 2 June 2004]

Chapter IV
Extraction of Tissues and Organs from a Living Donor

Section 13. Provisions for Removal of Tissues and Organs from a Living Donor

Removal of tissues and organs from a living donor shall be possible only upon his or her written consent, allowing a minimum risk to the donor's health and notifying the donor regarding the purpose, nature, consequences and risk of the referred to intervention.

Only tissues with the capacity to restore may be taken from a living donor. Removal of one kidney for the purposes of transplantation shall be permissible in exceptional cases.

[6 December 2001]

Section 14. Procedures by which Tissues and Organs may be Removed from a Living Donor

Removal of tissues and organs from a living donor shall be performed in accordance with the procedures specified by the Cabinet.

[6 December 2001; 2 June 2004]

Section 15. Anonymity Between the Donor and the Recipient

In performing a transplantation, medical staff shall ensure anonymity between the donor and the recipient, if they are not the next of kin.

Section 16. Use of Blood and Placenta Secreted after Labour

[2 June 2004]

Chapter V
Protection of the Body of Deceased Human Beings, Inadmissibility of Commercial Transactions

Section 17. Protection of the Body of Deceased Human Beings and Use of Human Tissues and Organs in Medicine as the State Function

The protection of the body of a deceased human being and the use of human tissues and organs in medicine shall be the State function implemented by the Ministry of Health. Any institution or organisation is prohibited to deal with pathological-anatomical examination, anatomical studies of the body of a deceased human being, removal and further use of tissues and organs of a living or deceased human being without the permission of the Ministry of Health.

[6 December 2001; 2 June 2004]

Section 18. Prohibition of Commercial Transactions

Removal and use of tissues and organs from the body of a living and deceased human being shall serve for the development of medicine and it shall be profitless by nature. Any removal of tissues and organs from the body of a living and deceased human being shall take place upon strict observance of the expressed consent or non-consent, and the selection, sending and use of these tissues and organs as a commercial transaction is prohibited.

Accumulation and use of tissues and organs voluntarily donated by people and acquired in a lawful way shall be permissible in accordance with the procedures specified by the Cabinet in the extraction and storage centres of tissues and organs referred to in a special list.

[29 September 1995; 6 December 2001]

Section 19. State Allowance and Reliefs for Donors

A living organ donor has the right to receive the State guaranteed medicinal aid free of charge until the end of his or her life.

[2 June 2004]

Section 20. Liability for Non-observance of the Law

The natural persons and legal persons who fail to fulfil the requirements of this Law shall be held liable as specified by the Law pursuant to the level of dangerousness of the offence.

Section 21. Control of the Implementation of this Law

The conformity of the use of tissues and organs of a deceased human being with the requirements specified in this Law and other regulatory enactments shall be controlled by the Ministry of Health.

[6 December 2001; 2 June 2004]

Chapter VI
Application of International Legal Norms

Section 22. Priority of International Legal Norms

If international or cross-border agreements, as well as conventions, the member state of which is the Republic of Latvia, provide other provisions than this Law, the international legal norms shall be applied.

Transitional Provisions

[6 December 2001; 2 June 2004]

1. The note made in the passport of a person until 31 December 2001 regarding the person's prohibition or permission to use the tissues and organs from his or her body after his or her death shall have legal effect until a new passport is received or a written submission of the person is submitted to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs by which he or she prohibits or permits to use his or her body or tissues and organs from his or her body after his or her death.

2. The Cabinet shall issue the regulations referred to in Sections 7, 12 and 14 of this Law until 30 November 2004.

3. Until the coming into force of the relevant Cabinet Regulation, but not later than up to 30 November 2004, the Order No. 278 of the Ministry of Health of 3 October 2003 Regarding the Use of Tissues and Organs of Deceased Human Beings in Medicine shall be in force insofar as it is not in contradiction with this Law.

4. Special permits (licences) for the performance of cremation, which have been issued to merchants until 30 June 2009, shall be valid until the expiry of the term of validity of the relevant licence, but not longer than until 1 July 2010.

[13 November 2008]

Chair of the Supreme Council
of the Republic of Latvia A. Gorbunovs

Secretary of the Supreme Council
of the Republic of Latvia I. Daudišs

Riga, 15 December 1992

 


Translation © 2010 Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre)

 
Document information
Status:
In force
in force
Issuer: Supreme Council Type: law Adoption: 15.12.1992.Entry into force: 01.01.1993.Theme:  Healthcare, pharmacyPublication: Latvijas Republikas Augstākās Padomes un Valdības Ziņotājs, 1/2, 14.01.1993.; Diena, 4, 08.01.1993.
Language:
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