Organ donation lawsuits and litigations are numerous in the USA :
"In the lawsuit filed this week in the U.S. District Court of Western Pennsylvania, Michael and Teresa Jacobs claim that doctors "hastened" their son Gregory Jacobs' death by delaying treatment and ultimately pulling his breathing tube, causing him to suffocate.
The couple said their son had not been formally declared brain dead when surgeons began the transplant procedure. They are seeking $5 million in damages." (March 2009, Source)
"Parents' Hospital Lawsuit Says Teen Was 'Killed' For Organs (Doctors Admit Clerical Error, but Say Teen Would Not Have Recovered From Brain Damage)", March 2009, Source
"Can I sue a hospital if my son died and the hospital took organ parts from his body, without permission, his or mine? My son was 29, never married and I was his next of kin. He did not authorize organ donation on his drivers license"
"It is possible that you could sue for the removal of body parts without consent. We would need more details about the death and removal before we can give you a definitive answer." (answer of a lawyer, 2008, Source)
Ever heard about this "brilliant" american movie thing, called "Repo Men"? "Set in the near future when artificial organs can be bought on credit, it revolves around a man who struggles to make the payments on a heart he has purchased. He must therefore go on the run before said ticker is repossessed."
"Let's sue the organ receivers for the crime of recel."
Well, I'm not 100% sure we have to wait for artificial organs to be marketed to see this happen (though the "pitch" might be slightly different) ... In the USA, informed consent to organ donation prevails, from a legal point of view. This means the citizen has to opt in (express his consent), if he wants to donate his vital organs upon his death. In France, the legal system is different. We have the opt out legal system, the so called "presumed consent": you don't have to express consent to organ donation, you are already considered an organ donor - by law ... Yesterday I spoke with a French woman, whose son's vital organs have been retrieved upon his death ... without the doctors asking for the next-of-kin organ donation decision (yes or no? which organs? when?) ... And a few month ago: same situation, with another family ... Same last year ... and so on ... and on ... and on ... Because of the informed consent prevailing - so says the law - the French transplant medicine community is safe from a legal point of view: they can't be sued for stealing vital organs or such thing ... Since nothing can be done from a legal point of view, I came up with the "brillant" idea that the only way for me to help a tiny little bit these grieving families is to write their story on a blog ... So I wrote this : "Dying to donate? Just make sure you die, the physicians will take care of the rest ..." (sorry it's written in French) ... and I tell Marie-Reine's story, just like she told me: "my son died and the hospital took organ parts from his body, without permission, his or mine." And this morning, Marie-Reine came up with this (really) brilliant idea: if we can't sue the transplant medicine community, or hospital, or whatever, we can sue the organ receivers. If you happen to have at home a nice piece of furniture, given by friends of yours, that's fine. But what if said piece of furniture has been ... stolen ? Recel means receiving stolen goods. This is punished by law. What if organ receivers can be punished by law if they receive "stolen" vital organs? This is a remake of that "Repo Men" movie thing, with vital organs you don't pay for, sure enough, but you can be sued if those organs you have been "given" have been "stolen". If organ donation means organ stealing (in order to get more and fresher organs, etc.), this can be punished by law. Says Marie-Reine, the French mother: If you can't sue the doctors or surgeons or hospital clerks (or admin) because of "presumed consent" prevailing in the French legal system, let's sue the organ receivers for the crime of recel ...