How to Donate a Body to Science
Donating your body to science is a gift that helps everyone! Whole body donation can be confusing or unfortunately, too often an unknown option… Hopefully our simple overview on how to donate your body to science will help you and your family.
First, Common Misconceptions:
1. I’m already donating my body to science, it’s the heart on my drivers license.
Not True! That heart is for organ/transplant donation. A body donation to science is non-transplant and advances medicines, surgeries and almost all general medicine.
2. I can’t donate because of my health/illness.
Probably Not True! We accept almost all Colorado candidates without HIV or Hepatitis. However, other programs will have their own acceptance criteria (sometimes a more strict criteria for weight, age and previous surgeries) and you should contact your preferred body donation program directly.
3. The Ashes will take years to receive back..
Not True! Our program provides the donor family with the Ashes within 5 weeks and the Death Certificate within 3. (Other programs are about the same, but again call your donor coordinator directly for those details)
Now! How To Donate Your Body to Science:
- Depending on your state, you may have small local programs as well as larger corporation options. A few tips to find your preferred body donation program: Google Search; Ask a hospice if they know of local programs. [Choose the program that feels right for you and your family, every program will be a bit different depending on management.]
- Register! And let your family know about your preferred body program as well as a second backup option for body donation. If possible, register with both! You never know if the first may decline you at the end of your life after your medical history has changed.
- When a person is coming close to death, hospice usually gets involved and the family will let them know about their preffered choice for body donation. Upon death the social worker calls the body donation program, and transportation is setup when the family is ready.
- All services to the donor and family are at no cost! (However, always check and get a full list of no cost services included with your preferred donor program).
- Body donation for science programs “act as” funeral directors. Meaning, we take care of almost everything for the family, from Cremation to the Death Certificate.