What is Body Donation

Body Donation is the donation of the whole body after death for medical research and education. Body Donation is useful for understanding the human body and for advancing science. Medical schools use whole embalmed bodies to teach anatomy to medical students. Any person wishing to donate their body may be required, but not always, to make prior arrangements with the local medical school, hospital, or Body Donation program before death. Individuals may request a consent form, and will be supplied information about policies and procedures that will take place after the potential donor is deceased.

Importance of Body Donation

Anatomy is the study of the structure of the human body and it is the basis of all medical knowledge of the human body. The gift of body donation is an indispensable aid in medical education and research and is greatly appreciated. The need for whole body donations is great and will be further increased by the demand for more doctors, dentists, nurses, and other health care practitioners. Your donation relieves your next-of-kin of making a decision of this magnitude under the handicap of grief. Your request for donation protects both the College of Medicine and your survivors and simplifies the procedure at the time of death.

Limitations or conditions

Whole body donation differs slightly from organ donation, in that it requires the entire corpse, not just specific, valuable organs. Typically once a body has been relieved of its organs, there is little of value left for a full-body donation, which is why you can generally only be an organ donor or a full-body donor but not both.

Who can become a donor?
All individuals can indicate their intent to donate (persons younger than 18 years of age must have a parent’s or guardian’s consent). Medical suitability for donation is determined at the time of death.

Are there age limits for donors?
There are no age limitations on who can donate. Whether you can donate depends on your physical condition, not age. Newborns as well as senior citizens have been organ donors.