An odd bill in strange times is being introduced and discussed into Tennessee legislation on Wednesday (2/20/13) by lawmakers in Nashville. The bill has to deal with the selling of body organs and tissues on the black market. The proposed bill would "officially" make it a class B felony to traffic bodily organs in Tennessee. If the body parts belong to a child, the felony would be considered a class A offense. What maybe even more disturbing is that it is assumed that the new law (if passed) will result in two arrests every two years. The item will be discussed by the Criminal Justice Committee.
On a side note, there is already a law in the state that deals with restrictions on procuring human organs for transplantation purposes. The current law states, “It is unlawful for any person to acquire, receive or otherwise transfer any human organ for valuable consideration and for use in human transplantation if the transfer affects commerce.” That law obviously does not go to the same extent as the one being proposed on Wednesday.
Class A felony
Not less than fifteen (15) nor more than sixty (60) years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), unless otherwise provided by statute
Class B felony
Not less than eight (8) nor more than thirty (30) years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), unless otherwise provided by statute
More – Actual Bill Summary:
Creates a Class B felony for organ trafficking if a person recruits, entices, harbors, transports, delivers, or obtains by any means another person, intending or knowing that an organ, tissue, or other body part of such person will be removed for sale against the person’s will. A person also commits the offense of organ trafficking if he or she knowingly receives anything of value, directly or indirectly, as a result of a violation of the above. Creates a Class A felony for organ trafficking against a minor.
Current Law dealing with body organs/tissues:
T.C.A. 68-30-401. Restrictions on procuring human organs for consideration and for human transplantation purposes.
(a) It is unlawful for any person to acquire, receive or otherwise transfer any human organ for valuable consideration and for use in human transplantation if the transfer affects commerce.
(b) Any person, firm, board, corporation or association who violates subsection (a) commits a Class A misdemeanor.
HISTORY: Acts 1986, ch. 885, § 3; Acts 1989, ch. 591, §§ 1, 6.
68-30-402. Costs for evaluation and removal of donated organs and tissues.
Any costs incurred at the request of an organ procurement agency or eye bank related to the evaluation of a potential organ and tissue donor, maintenance of organ or tissue viability following a death declaration, and removal of donated organs and tissues will be paid in full by the receiving organ procurement agency or eye bank. The next of kin of the organ and tissue donor will not be responsible for these expenses.
HISTORY: Acts 1986, ch. 885, § 3.
TN State General Assembly
House Bill Proposal 0357 by Coley
Senate Bill by Kelsey – SB 1037
TN Fiscal Review Committee
TN Code Annotated
Read the New Bill Proposal:
Bill proposed by:
House - Rep. Jim Coley
District 97 — Part of Shelby County
Senator Brian Kelsey
District 31 — Part of Shelby County