Autopsy Q&A by Dr. Stöppler

I have multiple sclerosis and when I die I would like to donate my body to a medical school. What does this entail, and does it cost money to donate my body?

Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD

Answer:

Donating your body to a medical school for research or teaching purposes does not cost anything. To donate your body, you must contact the medical school or university to which you would like to donate your body and fill out a registration form. Medical schools will send an information packet to potential donors, including instructions for your next-of-kin on contacting the medical school when you die. Your body will be transported by the medical school and stored until it is needed.

Donation is not considered final until the medical school has received a signed consent form. A copy of this form should be stored with your will and/or personal documents. You may revoke your consent to be a donor at any time by notifying the medical school in writing.

Talk to the specific medical school or university of your choice about the disposition of the body after it has been used. Many medical schools will cremate the body at their own expense and return the ashes to loved ones, if they so desire.

Thank you for your question.


Last Editorial Review: 2/15/2007