nguy n hi p ufwC2cmbaaI unsplashSPRINGFIELD – A measure championed by State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) to create the Task Force on Best Practices and Licensing of Non-Transplant Organ Donation Organizations was signed into law Friday.

“When people sign up to be organ donors, they are putting their trust in the fact that their organs will be properly kept, and used for science or educational purposes. Unfortunately, there have been cases where family members of the deceased suspected foul play,” Van Pelt said. “There needs to be more regulations in place in order to ensure the safety of organ donations.”

In recent years, the FBI discovered that Biological Resource Center Inc. in states including Illinois, Michigan and Arizona had been misusing donated body parts in a gruesome and criminal manner.

Before he died in 2014, Poplar Grove resident Jacob Sandersfeld, who suffered from spindle cell sarcoma, told his mother that he'd like to donate his body to medical research. His mother, Dawn Carroll, carried through with his wishes, authorizing that his body be donated to Biological Resource Center of Illinois to be used for medical education or research.

However, Carroll later filed a lawsuit, alleging that several medical businesses harvested and mishandled Sandersfeld's remains, possibly for profit.

Van Pelt’s bill will create the Task Force on Best Practices and Licensing of Non-Transplant Organ Donation Organizations in order to determine what kind of regulations should be put in place to prevent the kinds of cases mentioned above.

“We know that some things need to be regulated in cases like these, but we want to be cautious about the best way to do so,” Van Pelt said. “I am happy to trust the expertise of a task force for recommendations on the issue.”

Senate Bill 363 is effective immediately.

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