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Body Donation

Funeral Information | Burial, Cremation and other Alternatives | Organ / Body Donation |  Body Donation



Donated bodies are used to teach students about the structure of the body and how it works, through anatomical examination. The whole body and body parts can also be used to train surgeons, other healthcare professionals and for medical research. Organisations which carry out these activities are licensed by the HTA (Human Tissue Authority). People need to decide in advance to donate their body to medical science after their death, and their donations are highly valued by medical staff, students and researches.

Consideration is given to the pace and cause of death, the condition of the body at the time of death and demand in the medical schools. The body may then be accepted. Bodies may be refused if there has been a post-mortem or if any major organs except the cornea have been removed.

If accepted and after the body has fulfilled its full potential, the medical schools will arrange and pay for a simple funeral, or the relatives can do this for themselves. The medical school can advise relatives when the body is available for funeral.


Contact the Human Tissue Authority about whole body donation (in England and Wales):

Human Tissue Authority
151 Buckingham Palace Road
Victoria
London
SW1W 9SZ

Tel: 020 7269 1900
www.hta.gov.uk


Body Donation Q & A's

Frequently asked questions about body donation.

What is the role of the HTA in body donation?

Anatomy is the study of the structure and functions of the body. The HTA licenses and inspects establishments, such as medical schools, which teach anatomy using donated bodies.
The HTA provides general information on body donation but does not provide detailed information on behalf of each establishment, such as body donation acceptance criteria or opening times. This kind of information can only be obtained directly from the establishment.
Contact details for medical schools are available on this link. Click Here

If you require further assistance, you can contact one of the HTA Regulation Assistants: 020 7211 3437 / 020 7211 3442.


If I choose to donate my body, what can it be used for?


With your consent, your donated body can be used for a number of possible uses:

1."Anatomical examination" - this term describes the teaching of the structure and function of the human body to students or healthcare professionals

2."Research" - this term describes scientific studies which improve the understanding of the human body

3."Education and training" - these terms describe the training of healthcare professionals, usually those learning surgical techniques, as opposed to anatomical examination.

What do I need to do in order to donate my body?

Under the Human Tissue Act, written consent must be given prior to death; consent cannot be given by anyone else after your death. A consent form can be obtained from your local medical school and a copy should be kept in your will. You should also inform your family, close friends and GP that you wish to donate your body.

Contact details for medical schools are available on the HTA website link Click Here

I signed a body donation consent form 10 years ago and just heard that a new law, affecting body donation, came into force in 2006. Will the consent form I originally signed be accepted when I die or must I complete a new form?

Although the new law affecting body donation (the Human Tissue Act 2004) came into force on 1 September 2006, it allows documented and valid consent for body donation made under the old law to be honoured. The ease with which your body donation offer is accepted might be improved if you include an updated intention to donate your body in your Will. More details can be obtained directly from the anatomy establishment to which you wish to donate your body.

Contact details for medical schools are available on the HTA website link Click Here

I have recently moved to a different part of the country. Will I need to fill in a new body donation consent form?

Not necessarily. A form completed for one anatomy establishment might also be acceptable to another. More details can be obtained directly from the anatomy establishment to which you wish to donate your body.

If you have moved to a new area of the country, but still want to donate your body to the anatomy establishment linked to your old post code, please contact the establishment for more details. Some medical schools may request that your estate contributes to the cost of transporting your body if the donation falls outside of the medical school's local area.

Contact details for medical schools are available on the HTA website link Click Here

Can I donate my body if I am also on the organ transplant donor register?

People who choose to donate their body or organs do so in the hope that they will be useful to others after their death. Despite being separate donation systems, it is possible for a person to be registered as an organ donor and to have registered their wish to donate their body, after death, to a medical school.

Medical schools will usually decline a body donation if the person has undergone surgery to remove organs for transplantation. However, if after their death, the person is found unsuitable to be an organ donor, then body donation to a medical school can be taken forward by the relatives, solicitor or executor of the will.

If a person wishes to register for both organ donation and body donation, the HTA suggests that the person includes this in their will and ensures that those closest to them are aware of their wishes.

Are there any limitations or conditions to body donation?

All medical schools welcome the offer of a donation. However, certain medical conditions may lead to the offer being declined. These conditions and any other reasons for a body donation being declined, can be obtained from each medical school.

Contact details for medical schools are available on the HTA website link Click Here

What happens if my body is not accepted?

If a medical school is unable to accept your donation, they may be able to help you find another school which can accept your body.

However, if no medical school is able to accept your offer, your estate will need to make suitable funeral arrangements.

If I donate my body, will there be a funeral or memorial service?

Medical schools will usually arrange for donated bodies to be cremated, unless the family request the return of the body for a private burial or cremation.

Medical schools may hold a memorial service. Further information can be obtained directly from the medical school.

Contact details for medical schools are available on the HTA website link Click Here

Can I donate my body to a specific cause or medical school?

Medical schools which accept donated bodies will normally only accept donations from within their local area due to the transport costs involved. Offers of body donation from outside the area may be accepted on the condition that the donor's estate bears the cost of transporting the body. Full details can be obtained directly from the medical school. Contact details for medical schools are available to download from the right-hand side of this page.

Several medical schools are also involved in research requiring donated bodies. Your local school will be able to advise you of this.

Alternatively, the following human tissue banks accept brain and spinal tissue for research into specific medical conditions. As well as needing particular types of tissue from people with the conditions named below, they also accept donations of brain and spinal tissue from people without these conditions as controls to the research.

* London Neurodegenerative Diseases Brain Bank
Tel: 020 7848 0290

* Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Tissue Bank
Tel: 020 7594 9734
Tel for outside office hours: 07659 132045

* Parkinson's Disease Tissue Bank
Tel: 020 7594 9732
Tel for outside office hours: 07659 104537

* Brain Bank for Autism and Related Developmental Research, Oxford University
Tel: 0800 089 0707


Are there any costs or payments involved?


You will not receive any payment for donating your body.

Some medical schools may request that the donor's estate contribute to the cost of transporting the body, particularly if the donation falls outside of the medical school's local area. Full details can be obtained directly from the medical school.

Click here for Medical School contact details

Funeral Information | Burial, Cremation and other Alternatives | Organ / Body Donation |  Body Donation

 
 
 
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