Anatomical Gift Program
Anatomical donation, or the donation of your body to science, is a priceless gift to medical education. It enables our students to conduct detailed study of the anatomy of the human body as part of their medical education and research. Anatomy is one of the most important courses in the education of physicians, dentists, physician assistants, nurses, and physical therapists. The principal source of bodies for education and research is private donation.
How To Donate
Any competent person 18 years of age or older can donate their body for medical education and research.
You can make your wishes know by completing an Anatomical Gift Declaration of Consent. This does not require the services of a lawyer or notary. The form must be signed by two witnesses. When we receive the completed Declaration of Consent, you will be registered in the files of the Anatomical Gift Program and a Donor Participant card will be issued.
As a registered donor, you should inform your next of kin and anyone who is responsible under the law for the deposition of your remains. If at the time of death the next of kin or another close family member expresses regrets concerning the donation, we will relinquish all claim to the remains.
We cannot process enrollment registration for imminent deaths or if the prospective donor is unable to sign the consent form. Additionally, donations made through a will may be read too late after death to permit timely acceptance.
The Donation Process
When death occurs, a family member, hospital staff, or funeral director should notify the Anatomical Gift Program at 518-262-5379.
The Anatomical Gift Program will arrange for the transport of the body to the Medical College by a licensed funeral director under contract with the program. If the family wishes to use the services of a funeral director of their choosing, any expenses and fees beyond those normally incurred by the Anatomical Gift Program will be the responsibility of the family or estate of the deceased.
Refusal of a Donation
Albany Medical College reserves the right to decline the donation of a body when the remains are deemed unsuitable for educational purposes, when there is a family dissent, or for other reasons, including medical issues. A body should not be previously autopsied or embalmed.
The program cannot accept remains from approximately Dec. 18 through Jan. 3 of each year.
We support organ donation, which takes precedence over anatomical gift donation. Individuals who donate their organs for transplant are acceptable as anatomical donors to the Medical College provided the remaining criteria are met.
Declaration of Consent. Please download and complete.
Forms must be signed by the prospective donor. Forms signed by Next of Kin/Responsible Parties (POA, HCP, etc.) are not accepted in lieu of the donor signature.
Mail completed forms to:
Albany Medical College Anatomical Gift Program
47 New Scotland Ave., MC–135
Albany, NY 12208
Retain a copy of the signed packet for your records.
After receipt of your completed Enrollment Packet, a letter of acknowledgement and wallet card will be issued in approximately two to three weeks.
Interment & Memorial Service
When studies are completed, approximately 12 to 24 months after donation, all bodies are cremated individually. The ashes may be returned to the family for final disposition.
Alternatively, Albany Medical College will assume responsibility for disposition and will inter the ashes during the Annual Interment and Memorial Services in plots maintained by the College at Albany Rural Cemetery or St. Agnes Catholic Cemetery, which are donated by the Albany Diocesan Cemeteries.
Family and friends will be invited to the Interment and Memorial Service, where students express their appreciation to donors and their families.
Feel free to reach out with questions:
Michael P. Smith, PhD
Director, Vice Dean for Academic Administration, Anatomy