Anatomy is the study of the structure of the human body. Detailed study of the human body in medical schools constitutes an invaluable and indispensable part of medical education and research. It is one of the most important courses in the education of physicians, dentists, and other health professionals such as physician assistants, nurses and physical therapists. Each year, numbers of bodies are needed for the teaching of medical students, physician's assistants, physical therapists, and student of related disciplines. In addition, physicians in residency training and those in practice often pursue special courses in anatomy. Further with advances in medical science it is increasingly necessary for physicians and other biomedical scientists to conduct special anatomical studies and research.
The principal source of bodies is private donation
Who Can Donate
Any competent person 18 years of age or over may donate their body for medical education and research. After death, donations may also be made by the next of kin or executor.
How Can One Donate*
An individual may donate their remains before death by completing an Anatomical Gift Declaration of Consent. The completion of this form does not require the services of a lawyer or notary. The Form must be signed by two witnesses, preferably someone who can act on your behalf at the time of death. Upon receiving the completed Declaration of Consent, the potential donor will be registered in the files of the Anatomical Gift Program and a Donor Participant card will be issued to the donor. Please note that donations made through an individual will may be read too late after death to permit timely acceptance to the request.
As a registered donor to the Anatomical Gift Program, you should inform your next of kin, or other individuals who are responsible under the law for the deposition of your remains, of your desires to donate your body to medical science. Discuss your plans with those close to you so that your wishes may be honored. If at the time of death the next of kin or another close family member expresses regrets concerning the donation, the Anatomical Gift Program will relinquish all claim to the remains. It is also advisable for a potential donor to notify his or her physician of the arrangements.
In the advent an individual dies prior to registering with the Anatomical Gift Program, the donation can still be made. After the death of an individual , an Anatomical Gift Statement of Donation form may be executed by the next of kin or executor. Upon notification of the death of an individual, the Anatomical Gift Program will accept the remains contingent upon a verbal request by the next of kin. A Statement of Donation form must be filed within 72 hours after receipt of the remains in order for the donation to proceed.
*Note: From approximately December 15th through January 3rd of each year, the Program must be closed due to the temporary unavailability of certain resources necessary to its acceptance of donors' gifts. The Program will therefore be unable to accept any donor's remains during those times, and his or her family will need to make other arrangements for their disposition.