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Body Donation Program

About the Program

HOW CAN I LEAVE MY BODY TO WESTERN UNIVERSITY OF HEALTH SCIENCES FOR MEDICAL EDUCATION?

Body Donation ProgramUpon request, Donor Packet Information will be sent to you. The completion of these forms does not require the services of an attorney or notary. After the completed documents have been received and reviewed by the Body Donation Program Director, you will be sent a Donor Wallet Card.

DOES AGE, DISEASE OR AMPUTATION MAKE THE DONATION UNACCEPTABLE?

There are no upper age limits, nor does amputation preclude acceptance. There are certain medical conditions that would prevent acceptance. They are: HIV, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, Creutzfelt-Jacobs Disease, jaundice and obesity. Extensive trauma to the body at the time of death, advanced decomposition, autopsy or recent extensive surgery would also cause the remains to be unsuitable for anatomical studies.

WHAT EXPENSES ARE INVOLVED UPON DEATH OF A DONOR?

Donated bodies are customarily transferred to WesternU at no cost to the family. The only cost to the family or estate is that which is paid to a mortuary or transport service other than one dispatched by the Body Donation Program.

WILL I RECEIVE PAYMENT FOR THE BODY?

In accordance with federal laws, no “valuable consideration,” meaning monies, may be transferred for a donation of this type.

CAN I DONATE MY WHOLE BODY TO A MEDICAL SCHOOL?

  • Yes, but the arrangements with the medical school should be well in advance of death. The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, adopted in one form or another in all fifty states, allows individuals to donate their bodies to medical schools without permission form the next of kin. Most states consider donation of a body for dissection as its final disposition.
  • As with organ donation, however, the schools themselves normally require relative’s permission. More than 90% of the cadavers used by medical schools have been donated. Every economic group is represented. Some families have a tradition of leaving their bodies to science.
  • The most common reasons people give for donating their bodies to science are to aid medical sciences and education, and to show gratitude to the medical profession. Very few donate because they lack relatives or cannot afford funeral expenses.

WHAT IS THE FINAL DISPOSITION?

After studies are completed, generally a period of one to two years, the remains are cremated. Cremains will be scattered at sea or returned to the family, upon written request.

 

2011 Cadaver Memorial
Watch the slideshow: “2011 Cadaver Memorial”