Laurie Shreves, Director of Family Services

Laurie Shreves, Director of Family Services Research For Life

Laurie’s passion for helping others at what is one of the most difficult times of their lives is woven throughout the path of her career. For more than 15 years Laurie worked with her husband in the funeral business. During that time, she managed the operations of four different funeral homes that served thousands of families each year. Her experience helping families deal with grief and directing business operation and personnel matters have led her to the role she fills today as Director of Family Services at Research For Life.

Laurie oversees all aspects involved with the daily operation of the entire Family Services division for both the Arizona and California Research For Life locations. She works directly with families that are experiencing grief. She also provides guidance and counsel to those families who are in the process of having to make extremely personal and difficult decisions about what to do when a death occurs. She also coordinates the return of cremated remains to families, often delivering them herself in the Phoenix area.

Laurie strives for perfection and understanding in all aspects of her daily routine and is a deeply compassionate person. Her dedication to the mission of Research For Life and deep belief that people make a difference cause her to be on call 24/7.Outside of the office, she is committed to her family, loves to travel, and enjoys experimenting with wine tasting with her husband.

Laurie is the anchor for the family and, along with her husband, opened their home to care for her elderly parents. Traveling to Mexico for vacations and trips to Legoland and the beach with her two grandchildren are always high on the list of her favorite things to do. She is a faithful friend and still makes time for annual get-togethers with friends from grade school.

Laurie was raised in Tucson, Arizona for most of her young life and lived for 12 years in Casa Grande, Arizona. She now calls Phoenix home where she enjoys spending time visiting botanical gardens and touring all things dedicated to nature in the area.

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Research For Life - Understanding Whole Body Donor Consent

Hello, my name is Garland Shreves, CEO of Research For Life. I want to take a moment to discuss some very basic information with you regarding consent forms, in general, that you may encounter when considering to donate to a whole body donor organization.

First and foremost, you need to understand and read the consent form, also known as the authorization form or document of gift, so you know what you are consenting to.  Ask questions of the organization if you don’t understand something. 

 All states require, under the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, that consent be granted by an authorized agent of the donor or self-authorization before death.

Each state defines who in the consenting class has the most authority to direct donation. Such as the medical power of attorney, spouse, children, grandchildren, siblings, etc. and differs slightly in each state. 

Consent may be given by means of a verbal recorded consent or by a written document of gift.

Research For Life uses a written consent form which can be found on our website.

Understand that the donor or authorizing agent is giving the body to an organization. Once given it belongs to the organization to use in accordance with the consent form.

In other words, the donor organization is free to use the donor provided it does so within the terms

of the consent, it may not use the donor in a manner not consented too.  

The consent may state how the body may be used.  Educational and/or research purposes or some other purpose may be stated or in the discretion of the donor organization.

Research For Life provides cadavers and/or anatomical specimens for education and research purposes and does not do ballistic testing.

The consent may state that the body will be used in whole or in parts. It may also state that the anatomical parts may be used domestically and or internationally.

And most consents will cover some basic things like consent to test the donor for diseases and order medical records to help best determine the medical suitability for the donation.

The consent may also touch on issues like for profit or nonprofit status and if the donor or anatomical specimens will be used by one or more or both types of entities.  Remember that regardless of an organizations tax status they all charge fees to end users who order anatomical specimens and offer those specimens to both for profit and nonprofit entities.

From the very start of the donation process costs to the donor organization begin. 24-hour answering service, transport team to respond 24/7, qualified trained staff paid a livable wage with benefits and retirement, electric, gas, phone, insurances, building payments, maintenance, medical director, and regulatory requirements, and cremation fees. And these are just some of the expenses that an organization may have to cover.

Another item you may see on most authorization forms is a release of liability, a hold harmless agreement, excluding misconduct of course.  

Research For Life states clearly it will not and donor or agent agrees that Research For Life will not be held responsible for acts of third parties in connection with the donation.

Another item that reduces a donor organizations liability is the Anatomical Gift Act prohibits criminal, civil or administrative actions provided there is no intentional misconduct on the part of the donor organization. In other words, if the donor organization acted in good faith it is immune and provided some protection from lawsuits.

Another important part on a consent form is the person signing the authorization attests (affirms) that they have the authority to direct the donation. The donor organization accepts the authorizing agent’s authority in good faith barring any information known to it at the time of donation that would contradict the authority of the person authorizing donation.    

Remember, should you decide to register, tell your family and friends about your decision.

Also, the donation authorization form is not valid until notarized or signed by two witnesses; one witness must be non-family or disinterested party. 

Consent forms contain other important information that you need to read and understand.

All documents of gift or authorizations can be cancelled prior to death.

I want to thank you for taking the time to watch this video and I hope it helped provide you with some basic information regarding whole body donation consent forms.  Thank you.

Research for Life would like to express our deepest apology to any family of a donor that was declined during the stay at home order placed by the state of California. Research for Life has resumed acceptance of registered donors in our Southern California service area. Research for Life continues to accept registered donors in our Arizona service area. Due to COVID-19 Research for Life continues to limit visitors in both Southern California and Arizona. If you have a need to visit, please contact Research for Life for an appointment.
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