Improperly Authorized Organ Use as Tortious Interference with a Corpse:

There was an interesting Ninth Circuit opinion yesterday, certifying questions of state law to the Washington Supreme Court, and in the process summarizing the uncertainty in the law. Here's one question: Can any close enough relative (here a sister) sue for improperly authorized organ use as tortious interference with a corpse, or does it have to be the next of kin (here the father), who is in a position to authorize the use in the first place? I'd be inclined to say that only the father can sue, since exactly the same behavior would have been entirely permissible -- notwithstanding any possible distress to the sister -- if the father had said so. But apparently there's a disagreement among state courts on the subject, and the Ninth Circuit is asking the Washington courts what the rule ought to be.

There's also an interesting question about whether the Washington Anatomical Gift Act creates an implied private right of action, supplementing whatever remedy might be available under the common-law rules of tortious interference with a corpse.