Home > Memorials > Donating Your Body to Medical Science

Donating Your Body to Medical Science

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 2 Jan 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
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
I would like to leave my body to medical science i live in Tewkesbury gloucs who would be my university to contact pls ty.
nelson - 26-Sep-16 @ 12:44 PM
If you were to donate your body to science could it be used as part of a televison programme? Its something I would do but the thought of that does not sit well with me. If there was an option to "opt out' would you need to specify this
tiddzxx - 13-Sep-16 @ 6:27 PM
bessie - Your Question:
I live in Hayle, in Cornwall I have registered as a donor but I wish to give permission for my Brain to be made available for medical science on my Death with the hope of helping with mental health, what do I need to do??

Our Response:
Contact the Centre for Comparative and Clinical Anatomy at University of Bristol, Southwell Street, Bristol, BS2 8EJ, The contact details are: Sue Foot, Tel: 0117 954 6203 or email sue.foot@bristol.ac.uk
FacingBereavement - 6-Jun-16 @ 10:22 AM
I live in Hayle, in Cornwall I have registered as a donor but I wish to give permission for my Brain to be made available for medical science on my Death with the hope of helping with mental health, what do I need to do??
bessie - 3-Jun-16 @ 2:57 PM
Jane - Your Question:
Hello,I'm in a quandry. I am on the donor register but also thinking of donating my body to medical science. The idea of extending someone elses life through donation is obviously very appealing. I understand that the body has to be intact for it to be donated to science. Is it possible to be listed as both so that if body parts cant be used then my body can then be donated?I guess the other option is to opt for medical science if I become terminally ill.Also is it possible to choose the University you wish to donate your body to? I work for a University and I would like my body donated to the place I work.Thank you.

Our Response:
Contact the relevant medical school and ask for answers to these questions. Many of them have slightly different policies. You can find out which medical schools accept body donations etc here
FacingBereavement - 16-May-16 @ 12:25 PM
Hello, I'm in a quandry.I am on the donor register but also thinking of donating my body to medical science.The idea of extending someone elses life through donation is obviously very appealing.I understand that the body has to be intact for it to be donated to science.Is it possible to be listed as both so that if body parts cant be used then my body can then be donated? I guess the other option is to opt for medical science if I become terminally ill. Also is it possible to choose the University you wish to donate your body to?I work for a University and I would like my body donated to the place I work. Thank you.
Jane - 13-May-16 @ 10:40 AM
Sonia - Your Question:
I have already signed the body donation forms. Someone local I know had her donation refused when she died. I know this may happen. Several people have said that it is less likely that your body would be accepted as you age. Is this true? Does the liklehood decline when you are 70, 80, 90? I ask because if as I age it becomes less and less likely then I would want to buy a funeral plan to make it all easier for my daughter and might regretfully consider withdrawing my donation.

Our Response:
You will need to ask your own medical school (where you signed the forms) for more information about this.
FacingBereavement - 29-Apr-16 @ 11:50 AM
I have already signed the body donation forms. Someone local I know had her donation refused when she died. I know this may happen. Several people have said that it is less likely that your body would be accepted as you age. Is this true? Does the liklehood decline when you are 70, 80, 90?I ask because if as I age it becomes less and less likely then I would want to buy a funeral plan to make it all easier for my daughter and might regretfully consider withdrawing my donation.
Sonia - 27-Apr-16 @ 10:46 PM
I would like to donate my body to science. I live in Cumbria. Who do I contact?
cyn - 24-Apr-16 @ 2:13 PM
FacingBereavement - Your Question:
longprick - Your Question:
Can any family or friends attend the cremation?
.
Our Response:

Our Response:
Sometimes a medical school will hold a service - you should contact the relevant medical school to see what their policy.
FacingBereavement - 20-Apr-16 @ 11:56 AM
longprick - Your Question:
Can any family or friends attend the cremation?

Our Response:
FacingBereavement - 20-Apr-16 @ 11:55 AM
Can any family or friends attend the cremation?
longprick - 18-Apr-16 @ 1:34 PM
Debbie - Your Question:
I've had heart attack & damaged arteries if I die of heart failure would I still be accepted for medical science? I used to drink heavily too (not now) so could also have enlarged liver. What's the age limit?

Our Response:
The best thing to do would be to ask your nearest medical school that accepts donations. They may be interested in examining organs that have been damaged etc.
FacingBereavement - 31-Mar-16 @ 12:11 PM
I've had heart attack & damaged arteries if I die of heart failure would I still be accepted for medical science? I used to drink heavily too (not now) so could also have enlarged liver. What's the age limit?
Debbie - 28-Mar-16 @ 10:26 PM
mr&mrsroberts - Your Question:
We are both thinking off donating our bodies to science on death but don 'know how to go about this, we live in the east Yorkshire area of uk could you please let us know how.

Our Response:
We don't know exactly where you are in East Yorkshire but it's likely that one of two medical schools will accept body donations. Contacts for Sheffield University are: Jane Collins or Wendy Howard, tel:0114 222 4642 or email j.collins@sheffield.ac.uk or w.howard@sheffield.ac.uk. You could also write to: The Medical Teaching Unit, Department of Biomedical Science, Addison Building, Sheffield, S10 2TN.
Contact for Hull University is Jackie Houlton, tel: 01482 464750 email Jackie.houlton@hyms.ac.uk. Or write to University of Hull, Cottingham Road, Hull, HU6 7RX
FacingBereavement - 22-Mar-16 @ 12:48 PM
We are both thinking off donating our bodies to science on death but don 'know how to go about this, we live in the east Yorkshire area of uk could you please let us know how.
mr&mrsroberts - 21-Mar-16 @ 10:42 AM
I live in Barnsley area of Yorkshire & wish to leave my body to Medical Science. Please advise who I should Contact. PUT
Inky - 19-Mar-16 @ 9:35 PM
Kath - Your Question:
Who do I get in touch with to donate my body I live in north wales

Our Response:
Try contacting the University of Liverpool Medical school, Contact: Dee Tully,Tel: 0151 794 5442 email: body-donation@liverpool.ac.uk or dmtully@liverpool.ac.uk
FacingBereavement - 18-Mar-16 @ 1:53 PM
Tim - Your Question:
I would like to donate my body to medical science. I live in Wiltshire, please could you tell me who I need to contact? Thank you.

Our Response:
Dependingon the area of Wiltshire you're in, then it will be the medical schools at either Oxford or Bristol. Contact details are as follows:
Oxford Bequest Office
Tel: 01865 272181
bequests@dpag.ox.ac.uk
or Bristol Medical School
Contact: Sue Foot
Tel: 0117 954 6203
sue.foot@bristol.ac.uk
FacingBereavement - 17-Mar-16 @ 2:27 PM
Who do I get in touch with to donate my body I live in north wales
Kath - 16-Mar-16 @ 6:14 PM
I would like to donate my body to medical science. I live in Wiltshire, please could you tell me who I need to contact? Thank you.
Tim - 16-Mar-16 @ 1:15 PM
I live in Leicestershire who do I contact to leave my body to science
dont have one - 10-Mar-16 @ 6:59 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Papaeh
    Re: How Grief Affects Your Relationships
    Things are getting somewhat better between my wife and I , she said that she loves me but hard for her to love because…
    18 January 2017
  • Shaz
    Re: How Grief Affects Your Relationships
    I lost my dad 8 months ago but still live with my mum, I'm also in a relationship and even though my mum thinks a lot of…
    17 January 2017
  • FacingBereavement
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    Hens - Your Question:Ok so the father in law is buying us a house we are paying the payments on it and when he dies he said it's ours,…
    17 January 2017
  • lynn
    Re: How Grief Affects Your Relationships
    the tablecloths. I told him, maybe he should wait to decorate, see what mom said. I asked what he was doing, as a…
    16 January 2017
  • lynn
    Re: How Grief Affects Your Relationships
    My father died after a year long battle of health issues. At times, there were promising strides in his recovery, then…
    16 January 2017
  • Truthseeker1981
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    Hi my grandfather died suddenly at the age of 52 in 1952, my late father always spoke of the appalling way his death and the way his…
    16 January 2017
  • FacingBereavement
    Re: The Rights to Obtain a Headstone?
    Sis - Your Question:My brother passed away 12 years ago and still has no headstone, he was very popular and church was…
    16 January 2017
  • Hens
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    Ok so the father in law is buying us a house we are paying the payments on it and when he dies he said it's ours, now he has 2 other…
    16 January 2017
  • Sis
    Re: The Rights to Obtain a Headstone?
    My brother passed away 12 years ago and still has no headstone, he was very popular and church was heaving at the seems on…
    15 January 2017
  • Char90
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    My sister died a few years ago, no children and not married. She was 21 and still.lived with our parents. At the time she had a…
    13 January 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the FacingBereavement website. Please read our Disclaimer.