Home > Memorials > Donating Your Body to Medical Science

Donating Your Body to Medical Science

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 8 Feb 2016 | 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 live in Kensington, London and would like to leave my body to Medical Science.Do you know where I could contact someone locally? Moo
Moo - 8-Feb-16 @ 10:50 AM
I would definitely like to leave my body to Medical Science but don't know who to contact in my area.I live in Kensington, London.Can you help at all? Many thanks. Moo
Moo - 8-Feb-16 @ 10:47 AM
My mum would like to donate her body to science she lives in Glasgow Scotland
Lavinia - 7-Feb-16 @ 5:54 PM
I would love to donate my body, I live inNottinghamshire could you please provide me wit a contact number or e-mail, Thankd
Buster - 6-Feb-16 @ 9:04 PM
christine - Your Question:
I live in leeds and want to leave my body to science do I speak to my doctor about this and I've being told that you get payed to do this is this correct

Our Response:
Contact: Sarah Wilson at Leeds Medical School on0113 343 4297, email: s.j.moore@leeds.ac.uk or write to:
The Division of Anatomy
Leeds Institute of Medical Education
Leeds
LS2 9JT
You do not usually get paid to donate your body for medical research. You might have to pay some costs (from your estate when you die) towards transportation of your body etc
FacingBereavement - 2-Feb-16 @ 10:45 AM
I live in leeds and want to leave my body to science do I speak to my doctor about this and I've being told that you get payed to do this is this correct
christine - 31-Jan-16 @ 1:13 PM
this is arun from india age 29 m . I have donet my body for madical recarch . Where r contate ... My whats aap number +91 9300867571.
rinku - 28-Jan-16 @ 4:55 PM
i would like to donate my body to medical science. I live in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. How do I go about this?
dellboy - 23-Jan-16 @ 10:20 PM
sanny - Your Question:
Im thinking of donating my body can you please tell me who to contact near to me im in ayrshire scotland

Our Response:
You should be able to find the relevant medical school here
FacingBereavement - 20-Jan-16 @ 2:44 PM
im thinking of donating my body can you please tell me who to contact near to me im in ayrshire scotland
sanny - 20-Jan-16 @ 11:18 AM
After having open heart surgery with aortic valve replacement also root inside heart repaired..also having type 2 diabetes.. I would like to donate my body after my death for use to medical students at Newcastle Uni.. Having been in nd out of hospital having pacemakers fitted and currently have a defibrilater type fitted. Many student doctors have examined me and found my medical condition 'amazing' and cant believe im still alive..So this is my wish to repay and help those who do a remarkable job and for future doctors/nurses/surgeons..
davo - 11-Jan-16 @ 4:50 PM
Iooking forward to being of use
eddie - 1-Jan-16 @ 5:41 PM
Hi, I am interested in leaving my body to medical science and would be very grateful if you could give me details of the nearest Medical University/College. I am 50 years old and have Multiple Sclerosis and am currently being tested for lung problems. I live in St Leonards-On-Sea, East Sussex.
Kath - 15-Dec-15 @ 1:07 PM
On leaving my body to medical science - would there be cost implications to the family I leave behind?
H2O - 14-Dec-15 @ 9:26 PM
know matter what family say this is my choice !!
moomoo - 9-Dec-15 @ 8:46 PM
Wardy - Your Question:
I am thinking of leaving my body to medical science. Where do I get the relevant forms? I think Birmingham is my nearest university.

Our Response:
Here is the contact information for the Birmingham Medical School: Jean Brooks, Tel: 0121 414 6811, j.s.brooks@bham.ac.uk
FacingBereavement - 3-Dec-15 @ 12:12 PM
I am thinking of leaving my body to medical science. Where do I get the relevant forms? I think Birmingham is my nearest university.
Wardy - 1-Dec-15 @ 7:45 PM
Hi, diagnosed with Parkinsons in 2006 otherwise in quite good condition. Will my body be accepted for medical science, if so, where and who is my nearest contact please ? Iive in Sale -Manchester. Thank You
steve - 23-Nov-15 @ 5:30 PM
Hi, I'm very interested in donating my body to medical science, could you please tell me where the nearest medical school to myself is and how I g about sorting this out.Thankyou
Trishrich1506 - 9-Nov-15 @ 3:27 PM
Me and my dad would like to donate our bodys to scince when we die
wullie - 4-Nov-15 @ 1:56 PM
GailSoo - Your Question:
I have had a total hysterectomy including removal of my cervix and ovaries, I would like to donate my body but wonder how valuable this would be considering that my entire reproductive system is missing?

Our Response:
There will be research that can be carried out on many of your other organs. Get in touch with your local medical school and ask what the procedure is; you'll find them very helpful.
FacingBereavement - 27-Oct-15 @ 10:36 AM
I have had a total hysterectomy including removal of my cervix and ovaries, I would like to donate my body but wonder how valuable this would be considering that my entire reproductive system is missing?
GailSoo - 23-Oct-15 @ 9:37 AM
I would like to leave my body to medical science for these reasons (1) obviously for medical advance's (2) I don't believe in the pompous ceremony untitled 'a funeral' (3) what a complete rip off . I'm dead its a carcass ,I really don't care weather I'm put in a sack and chucked in the river ... Or just chucked in an incinerator but two people singing the words " a leg and a wing to see the king " ... But really if I can be of some use when dead can't be a bad thing if it will help the human race as a hole
Dobs - 22-Oct-15 @ 8:14 AM
My dad has left his body to medical science. I have not heard from him for 2 yrs is there anyway i can find out if this has happened . Tried many avenues just need answers
Auntie - 13-Oct-15 @ 8:54 PM
Gillian23 - Your Question:
After watching this on TV I am seriously considering this but after you have finished with the body who cremates and is the cost passed back to living family members?

Our Response:
The cremation is usually organised by the relevant medical school at no cost to the family. Sometimes a family will be asked for costs if there are unusual costs involved such as transportation etc.
FacingBereavement - 9-Oct-15 @ 12:40 PM
Sarah - Your Question:
Hi there, I am considering donating my body to medical science.I am 46yrs old now, I have suffered from depression for around 30 yearsI have Severe Chronic COPD (A Lung transplant may be possible in the future)I have also had Cervical Cancer which resulted in a Wertheim's hysterectomy.My question is, would it be worth me donating my body seeing as there isn't a lot left working?

Our Response:
We're sure they can still find "useful parts" to work on :-) Try contacting your nearest accepting medical school , they'll be able to tell you for sure.
FacingBereavement - 9-Oct-15 @ 11:23 AM
After watching this on TV I am seriously considering this but after you have finished with the body who cremates and is the cost passed back to living family members?
Gillian23 - 9-Oct-15 @ 12:03 AM
Hi there, I am considering donating my body to medical science. I am 46yrs old now, I have suffered from depression for around 30 years I have Severe Chronic COPD (A Lung transplant may be possible in the future) I have also had Cervical Cancer which resulted in a Wertheim's hysterectomy. My question is, would it be worth me donating my body seeing as there isn't a lot left working?
Sarah - 8-Oct-15 @ 4:03 PM
Rachel - Your Question:
Hello, I am considering donating my body to medical research but I also have strong beliefs about finding alternatives to animal expereimentation and was wondering if you knew of any organisations where I could donate my body but it would be used in finding alternatives to using animals for medical researchthank you

Our Response:
Most medical schools will not specify exactly how your body donation would be used as it would depend on what projects were underway at the time of your death. You could try contacting the Human Tissue Authority for more information.
FacingBereavement - 8-Oct-15 @ 12:24 PM
hello, i am considering donating my body to medical research but i also have strong beliefs about finding alternatives to animal expereimentation and was wondering if you knew of any organisations where i could donate my body but it would be used in finding alternatives to using animals for medical research thank you
Rachel - 8-Oct-15 @ 9:36 AM
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:
Topics
Latest Comments
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.