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Donating Your Body to Medical Science

Author: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 21 July 2015 | commentsComment
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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[Add a Comment]
Hi does age matter when considering acceptance also what about medical history. Thanks
mick - 21-Jul-15 @ 5:20 PM
@mertle You need to contact Norwich Medical School - University of East Anglia.Contact details are as follows: Mrs Sue O’Connor, Tel: 01603 591104, anatomy@uea.ac.uk
FacingBereavement - 16-Jul-15 @ 11:53 AM
I live in Norwich and am considering leaving my body to science, before that can I they still take my organs before the rest of me is donated or has it got to be the whole body. And who do I get in contact with.
mertle - 12-Jul-15 @ 1:03 PM
is there any kind payment for donating your body to medical science
cadger - 11-Jul-15 @ 3:18 PM
@Vivvy. Here's a link to the Human Tissue Authority page . Just search by your post code to find the nearest medical school to you.
FacingBereavement - 25-Jun-15 @ 1:48 PM
Hi I'm looking to donate my body to science when I pass on how do I go about doing this please
blue - 25-Jun-15 @ 10:01 AM
I'm 60 years old. I wish to donate my body to medical science.How do I do this..
Vivvy - 21-Jun-15 @ 8:10 PM
My sister has just donated her body to Liverpool I would be interested in doing the same
Jeany - 19-Jun-15 @ 11:34 PM
@sooty50. Yes you need to contact University of Nottingham Medical School. Alison Bexon Tel: 0115 823 0143 alison.bexon@nottingham.ac.uk
FacingBereavement - 16-Jun-15 @ 12:40 PM
I leave in Derbyshire, how do I go about leaving my body to for research and do I need tocontact a local hospital.
sooty50 - 11-Jun-15 @ 3:49 PM
More info About donation and remains after wards
David - 18-May-15 @ 9:17 PM
I have a fatty liver some heart issues alcohol related problems
Dave - 18-May-15 @ 9:15 PM
I have always said from early age my body will go to teach up and coming students . I will never won't my family to pay for funeral I won't then to party on . I won't people to learn this is how not to treat your body . I won't people to use my body and learn .
queenie - 14-May-15 @ 4:47 PM
Just wanted to say that my amazing Nana donated her body 6 months ago and I could not be prouder!! Tomorrow my family and I will attend a thanks giving service in her honour at the Liverpool Cathedral.I have definitely been inspired to follow in my Nana's wishes to become a donor
curlfriend - 13-May-15 @ 7:16 AM
@trace. Yes you can get the ashes afterwards. The best thing to do to find out if your mum's body would be accepted is to contact the relevant medical school (that is part of the HTA). Here is a list of the medical schools to contact - just type in the postcode where you mother lives.
FacingBereavement - 7-May-15 @ 2:02 PM
I have metastaticbreast cancer and would like my body to be used for research. Is this possible?
Bblr - 2-May-15 @ 10:56 PM
Hi my mum wants to donate her body i just wanted to no what happens when you have finish with her body as been told i could get her ashes also she as had a hysterectomy will she be accepted to donate as i dont no nothing about donating a body thank you
trace - 1-May-15 @ 7:45 AM
@Speedy. Here is the address you should write to: Health Quality and Safety Branch G.ER, St Andrew’s House, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG
FacingBereavement - 16-Mar-15 @ 2:41 PM
I live in kilmarnock east ayrshire, could you please tell me the nearest place I could donate my body after death. Could you please send me the forms for me to do this.
speedy - 13-Mar-15 @ 2:06 PM
@Dave. Here are the contact details for your area.
FacingBereavement - 10-Mar-15 @ 12:42 PM
I want to donate my body for medical research so that Doctors and medical staff may learn .Where do I get the appropriate forms or can you send them to me. I live in Southport Merseyside
Dave - 6-Mar-15 @ 6:53 PM
@Lego. You will need to find the nearest medical school that accepts body donations. Here is a list of all the UK medical schools which will do this.
FacingBereavement - 5-Feb-15 @ 2:19 PM
I wish to donate my body to medical science, will you please send me a form. Thank you.
Lego - 2-Feb-15 @ 3:42 PM
@Angeleyes. Try the Health Quality and Safety Branch G.ER, St Andrew’s House, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG. 0131 244 2711
FacingBereavement - 6-Jan-15 @ 10:29 AM
i live in the dumbartonshire area were is the nearest med school and info on where to obtain the necassary forms to donate ones body?many thanks for any info sent.kindest regards.angeleyes.
ANGELEYES - 31-Dec-14 @ 2:20 PM
@Kelly. The Human Tissue Authority is a regulatory authority and so it will be difficult to send funds directly to them. If you have an area of medicine that you would like to donate towards, then search directly for the UK registered charities funding that particular research.E.g.
Cancer Research UK
The British Heart Foundation
The Brain Research Trust
FacingBereavement - 21-Oct-14 @ 10:14 AM
My father in law wanted to donate his body to medical science. Unfortunately when he died we found that all the legalities in relation to the paperwork were not suffice so we could carry out his wishes We therfore wish to donate the collection taken at his funeral to medical science research. Does anyonehave any contact names or telephone numbers so that we can forward the money.
kelly - 18-Oct-14 @ 7:53 PM
ars later.Thisprocedure has obviously been discussed with him at great length as I have always been very open about death .The greatest good we can do after death is to donate organs or our body. Write or email your local medical school and they will send you the forms to fill in.
Ahteshamul - 5-Sep-14 @ 11:38 AM
Areyou aware of any self help groups or on-line forums to help the relatives of donors to medical science?My mum in law donated her body to the LAO.Our local bereavement counselling service have never come across this situation so cannot offer specific help.I have emailed the LAO but have had no response and cannot find anything on their site
Rob - 5-Aug-14 @ 8:07 PM
@Linda Lou. Yes you can still do this, but you need to make sure the medical school and your family are aware of your wishes. The medical school will return the body for the funeral.
FacingBereavement - 5-Aug-14 @ 11:36 AM
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