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Abstract

This Note examines, in three parts, presumed consent laws as they pertain to organ donation. Part I discusses presumed consent and explains the salient features of presumed consent laws. It then discusses case law that addresses the aftermath of unauthorized organ or tissue harvesting. Part II evaluates the United States Supreme Court's evolving conceptions of the rights of individual and family-based privacy, autonomy, and liberty, for subsequent application to the presumed consent organ donation controversy. Part III analyzes presumed consent laws in light of the donors and their families' privacy, autonomy, and liberty interests. The Note concludes that current presumed consent organ donation laws in the United States are both unethical and unconstitutional.

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