Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy


Patrick Monahan

Document Type

Student Comment


In the United States, federal and state laws on the issue of posthumous retrieval of gametes are almost non-existent. As the field of medicine continues to grow and more posthumous gamete retrieval procedures become viable, state courts and hospitals are left on their own when patients and family members ask their doctors to perform such procedures. As such, there exists wide variability from hospital to hospital and state to state for a deeply personal and time-sensitive procedure. By reviewing state court cases and hospital policies, this article demonstrates the variability between practices and illustrates key questions that arise when requests for these procedures are made. The purpose of this article is to argue for an expansion of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA) which would explicitly allow posthumous gamete retrieval in instances where the deceased donor gives express consent. The vast majority of states have enacted anatomical gift statutes similar or identical to the UAGA. By expanding the UAGA to explicitly include posthumous gamete retrieval procedures, the United States can begin to create uniformity surrounding the practice.