Organ Donation vs. Whole Body Donation: Can You Do Both?

Organ Donation vs. Whole Body Donation: Can You Do Both?

As the leading accredited whole body donation program in the United States, we are often asked the question as to whether or not a person can choose to be both an organ donor and a whole body donor. The simple answer is YES.

With the Science Care whole body donor program, most often individuals can be BOTH organ donors for transplant purposes as well as whole body donors for medical research and education. Organ donation for transplant takes first priority due to its inherent life-saving nature.

It is a well-known fact that there is a tremendous need for organ donations in this Country. Currently, there are more than 100,000 people waiting for an organ transplant. The needs for whole body donation are great as well. University medical schools, medical training facilities, physicians, medical technicians, biomedical engineers and scientists as well as others are in desperate need of whole body donations to further their research, training and development.

Chances are if you are reading this post, you have already signed up to be an organ donor, and that’s an amazing gift to give to anyone on a waiting list. But did you know that organ donors are often ruled out as candidates for organ donation due to age or conditions such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, kidney or liver disease, etc.  In fact, less than one percent of hospital deaths meet the criteria for organ donation. Each organization is unique in its criteria for acceptance.  The good news is that even if you are not a good candidate for organ donation you will most likely be an excellent candidate for whole body donation for medical research.  Our criteria is much broader and the timelines for donation are longer.

If you’re already an organ donor and wish to have the option to donate your body to science as well, simply let your loved ones know of your wishes.  The Science Care Donor Services Coordinators will collaborate with the local transplant group to help facilitate both types of donation.

How to Register With Science Care

  • Join the Science Care registry of potential donors to support medical advances
  • Provide your loved ones with contact information for your state’s Organ Procurement Organization (OPO). Click here for a listing of state OPO’s
  • Provide your loved ones with the toll free number to Science Care: 800.417.3747, available 24 hours a day
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