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Donating Your Body to Medical Science

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 4 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Donation To Science body Donation

Though organ donation has become a relatively well recognised action across the UK not as many people know that they can donate their bodies to medical science if they so choose. Unlike organ donation, in which viable organs are harvested and transplanted into those who need them in order to live, the donation of a body to medical science means that the body is transferred in its entirety to a nearby medical school. There it is used for training purposes. If you are considering donating your body to medical science, please continue reading for some answers to frequently asked questions about this subject.

Why Should I Donate My Body to Medical Science?
The donation of bodies to medical science is vital for medical schools. Bodies are used for dissections which are conducted as a method of teaching and learning and they are needed for surgeons to train with. Bodies are sometimes also photographed for teaching and learning purposes.

If I Do Decide to Donate, Does A Medical School Have to Accept My Body?
In short, no. Medical schools will only accept bodies once they have had a chance to examine them. Generally medical schools publish guidelines on why they will or will not accept bodies for donation.

What Happens if a Medical School Does Not Accept My Body?
If your body is not accepted by a medical school your family will become responsible for your remains.

If My Body Is Accepted, What Happens After It Has Been Used?
On the donation form you have the option of whether you would like your body to be used by the medical school for three years or if you would be happy to have the medical school keep it for as long as it is worthwhile for them to do so. Regardless of the option you choose, at the end of that time period your body will be cremated. This cremation will include a short service and will be individual, not a mass cremation. Your ashes may be received by a designated person if you would like them to be.

If I Die Suddenly, Can My Family or Executor Donate My Body for Me?No. Donations can only be made by the individual and must be made in writing using the appropriate forms.

If I Become Incapacitated, Can the Individual with Power of Attorney Donate My Body?
No. Again, donations can only be made by the individual and must be made in writing using the appropriate forms.

What Arrangements Must I Make for Donating My Body to Medical Science?
You must be over the age of 17 to donate your body to medical science. The wish to donate your body to medical science must be made in writing via a consent form that can be obtained from the Bequethal Secretary of your local medical school. You should send this form back to the school, but retain a copy for your own records and a copy to be kept with your will. You should also express your wish to donate your body to medical science in writing and have it witnessed. Finally, you should inform your next of kin and/or the executor of your will of this wish.

How Can I Find Out More About Donating My Body to Medical Science?

The Human Tissues Authority is the organisation which oversees the donation of bodies to medical science. The HTA can be contacted at www.hta.gov.uk.

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Hi my dad died in 1994 of non Hodgkin lymphoma and donated his body to medical scienceHis partner at the time won't tell me what happened Can I retrieve my dad's ashes as I need to lay him to rest Any advice will be most helpful. I'm so proud that he has done this but I need him back
Heowch - 4-Oct-17 @ 9:23 PM
MUMMSIE - Your Question:
I have a paid for burial plot in Essex where I live. I do not want a burial ceremony as I haveno family but two sons. Can I donate my organs and have a direct burial cheaply under NHS?

Our Response:
You will need to check with your nearest medical school to see if your body/organs will be accepted as a medical donation. You can arrange for as cheap a funeral as you like, since you've already paid for your burial plot. The contact details for the London Anatomy School are as follows: Donations Officer, Tel: 020 7848 8042 or email: lao@kcl.ac.uk
FacingBereavement - 23-Aug-17 @ 12:35 PM
I have a paid for burial plot in Essex where I live. I do not want a burial ceremony as I have no family but two sons. Can I donate my organs and have a direct burial cheaply under NHS?
MUMMSIE - 21-Aug-17 @ 4:03 PM
I am classed as clinically obese and think medical science may be able to learn a lot from from my dead body if so how do I go about putting things in place for when I die I have spoken to my children who are fully aware of my wishes after I die
MOM - 25-Jun-17 @ 2:12 AM
a word of caution. the brother of a friend of mine had donated his body.When near death, he was put on life support system. However, when a body is donated, the person has to die naturally, so the machine was turned off,and it took three days for the person to die naturally. The family went through an additional agony to their grief, having to wait around for the actual death.it was a horrifying situation for them. I don't know if this is the case in all hospitals, but you need to check.
beta - 4-Jun-17 @ 7:23 PM
Hi my dad has always talked about his body going to medical science we know it is his wish to do it but back in november he was diagnosed with Glioblastoma grade 4 my mum has said he hasent got a will so not sure if he actually went ahead and filled the forms out is there a way of knowing if he has done it? Also does it have to be in a will? Thank you
Mel - 30-May-17 @ 7:59 PM
Cabbagerose - Your Question:
I understand why I can no longer be an organ doner now that I have been diagnosed with breast cancer. However I would imagine my body would still be of use to medical science. Is this the case and if so whom do I contact? I live in Cornwall

Our Response:
The university of Bristol - Medical school accepts donated bodies from the Cornwall area. Contact details are as follows: Sue Foot, 0117 954 6203 or email: anat-bequestoffice@bristol.ac.uk
FacingBereavement - 30-May-17 @ 2:33 PM
I understand why I can no longer be an organ doner now that I have been diagnosed with breast cancer.However I would imagine my body would still be of use to medical science.Is this the case and if so whom do I contact?I live in Cornwall
Cabbagerose - 28-May-17 @ 2:53 PM
Hi I would like more information please
Darren - 15-May-17 @ 8:49 PM
Summo - Your Question:
I would love to leave my body to medical science when I die but I am also on organ donor list How or who do I contact to organise this pleaseI live in Lowestoft, Suffolk

Our Response:
It's Norwich Medical School - University of East Anglia. Contact: Mrs Sue O’Connor, 01603 591104 or email: anatomy@uea.ac.uk
FacingBereavement - 2-May-17 @ 12:21 PM
I would love to leave my body to medical science when I die but I am also on organ donor list How or who do I contact to organise this please I live in Lowestoft, Suffolk
Summo - 1-May-17 @ 3:01 PM
Who do I contact in relation to leaving my body to medical research? I live in Swansea .
Kath - 20-Apr-17 @ 7:24 PM
Eve - Your Question:
I would like to donated my body to medical science research upon my death. I have a son who lossed his liver, due to unknown courses. He survived thx to a 12 year old donor. My granddaughter has a rare illness which is called AHC. Can I still donated my body upon death to medical science research. I live in Manhattan, New York City. Thank you.

Our Response:
Sorry, but as we're UK based, we can only offer information about UK institutions and regulations.
FacingBereavement - 27-Mar-17 @ 12:34 PM
I would like to donatedmy body to medical science research upon my death. I have a son who lossed his liver, due to unknown courses. He survived thx to a 12 year old donor. My granddaughter has a rare illnesswhich is called AHC. Can I still donated my body upon death to medical science research. I live in Manhattan, New York City.Thank you .
Eve - 25-Mar-17 @ 9:40 PM
Please would you let me know how I go about donating my body to a local medical school? I live in Norwich, Norfolk. Thank you.
elgar - 6-Mar-17 @ 9:37 AM
Interested donating my body to medical science
Pat - 4-Mar-17 @ 10:19 PM
Lunda - Your Question:
I live in Virginia Water Surrey aged 62 and am interested in leaving my body to science on my death can you please advise where my nearest medical centre is that deal with thisThank you

Our Response:
Yes it's the London Anatomy Office, details as follows:
Donations Officer
The London Anatomy office
5.7, 5th Floor Hodgkin Building
King's College London
London
SE1 1UL
Tel: 020 7848 8042
lao@kcl.ac.uk
FacingBereavement - 2-Mar-17 @ 10:08 AM
I live in Virginia Water Surrey aged 62 and am interested in leaving my body to science on my death can you please advise where my nearest medical centre is that deal with this Thank you
Lunda - 28-Feb-17 @ 8:55 AM
Izzie - Your Question:
I would like to donate my body to medical research. where do I contact regarding this? I live in Ayrshire (Kilmarnock area).

Our Response:
Yes, please check the information on the Scottish body donation page
FacingBereavement - 23-Feb-17 @ 2:17 PM
I wouldlike to donate my body to medical research. where do I contact regarding this? I live in Ayrshire (Kilmarnock area).
Izzie - 22-Feb-17 @ 7:16 PM
Moo - Your Question:
I am considering leaving my body to medical science on my death as my mother and grandfather did the same I am 61 at the moment and nursing where would I get the reverent forms I stay in Aberdeen Scotland thank you

Our Response:
Contact Jane Patterson on 01224 274 320 / 01224 272 000 or emailjane.patterson@abdn.ac.uk at the University of Aberdeen.
FacingBereavement - 7-Feb-17 @ 12:15 PM
I am considering leaving my body to medical science on my death as my mother and grandfather did the same I am 61 at the moment and nursing where would I get the reverent forms I stay in Aberdeen Scotland thank you
Moo - 6-Feb-17 @ 10:36 AM
I Am really considering leaving my body to medical school . I have thought about this for months
jackie - 2-Jan-17 @ 9:46 AM
Baz - Your Question:
Me and my wife would like to leave are body to medical school,we live in reading Berkshire.how do we go about let.thank you

Our Response:
The contact details for the London Anatomy Office medical school are as follows:
Donations Officer
Tel: 020 7848 8042
email@ lao@kcl.ac.uk
Post:
The London Anatomy office
5.7, 5th Floor Hodgkin Building
King's College London
London
SE1 1UL
FacingBereavement - 16-Dec-16 @ 12:52 PM
Me and my wife would like to leave are body to medical school,we live in reading Berkshire.how do we go about let .thank you
Baz - 15-Dec-16 @ 5:36 PM
Patherron - Your Question:
I want to donate my body to science after my death which is nearmedical hospital I can contact I live in newcastle tyne wear thank you miss patricia herron

Our Response:
Newcastle University is your nearest one. Contact: Hayley Clark, 0191 208 6616 or email anatomy.bequests@ncl.ac.uk
FacingBereavement - 27-Oct-16 @ 2:33 PM
I want to donate my body to science after my death which is nearmedical hospital i can contact i live in newcastle tyne wear thank you miss patricia herron
Patherron - 26-Oct-16 @ 3:21 PM
I want to leave my body to medical research. How do I and can you send me the forms I need to fill in and sign.
Lizzie drip - 24-Oct-16 @ 11:56 PM
My beautiful daughter, Christina died on the 29th September last month. She was my world. When I mentioned to her that I wanted to donate my body, she was horrified. Now Christina has gone I would like to donate my body.i hope I am accepted .
Tess - 20-Oct-16 @ 4:19 PM
My wife and I wish to leave our whole bodies to medical and or science. We/ live in Cyprus at present. Please can you tell us who to contact
Legs eleven - 26-Sep-16 @ 7:11 PM
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