How to donate your body to science

Science Care links donors who choose to donate their body to science with medical researchers and educators who help to improve the quality of life for all of us. Our goal is always to honor and maximize the gift of donation.
Join the registry

How body donation works with Science Care

  • If you have decided body donation to science is an option for you, we encourage you to join the Science Care online donor registry to express your intent to donate and let your loved ones know about your wishes.
  • If you or your loved one has been diagnosed as terminally ill, or is under hospice or palliative care, you can call us at (800) 417-3747 ext. 2 or fill out the pre-enrollment form to begin the screening for Science Care’s HOPE® Program. Upon completion, there is a one-year priority consideration for acceptance into our program at the time of passing, that provides peace of mind to both the donor and their loved ones. Restrictions apply; please see below the HOPE® Program Terms & Conditions.

Most people meet the criteria for donation with Science Care, including those with cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Certain conditions such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B or C, COVID-19 (symptoms, exposure, or diagnosis), extremely high or low body mass index (BMI), consent issues, location of residence or passing, legal issues, condition of body at the time of passing, or any inability to place the donation with current medical research or education projects at the time of passing may impact final acceptance in to the Science Care Program, including Science Care’s HOPE® Program.

Why should I donate my body to science?

Science Care donors have provided pathways to greater knowledge and discovery in the medical community, which helps future generations live longer and healthier lives.
More reasons to donate

What happens after a Science Care donor passes?

Notification Call

  • A loved one or care provider contacts Science Care to notify us of your passing. Call us 24 hours a day at (800) 417-3747 ext. 1.
  • A Science Care representative conducts a brief medical screening by phone to determine acceptance (If you’re enrolled in the Science Care HOPE® Program, this step may have already been completed for you).

Donation process begins

  • Science Care coordinates transportation to bring you or your loved one into our care.
  • Your loved ones are assigned a Donor Services Coordinator — a direct point of contact who will assist them through the donation process.
  • Science Care obtains any pending authorizations, death certificate information and medical social history needed to process the donation.
  • Science Care files the death certificate in the county of passing. Your loved ones are responsible for purchasing certified copies of the death certificate directly from the county.

Completion of donation

  • Specimens are procured for medical research, surgical training, and education programs.
  • The return of cremated remains not matched with a current Science Care program are returned to your loved one within 3-5 weeks following the donation.

Celebration of donation

  • Memorial Services: Many families will have a Celebration of Life or memorial service for their loved one.
  • Legacy Letter: In the month following the donation, Science Care emails a letter to the donation consenter, outlining current research programs at the time of donation.
  • Memory in Nature: As a celebration of life, a tree is planted in honor of each donor.
Make your wishes known
“I’d like to thank the entire team at Science Care for your care and professionalism, at the time of our mother’s passing. She had made her wishes clear years ago when she and her husband registered with your program. As a Phoenix firefighter/paramedic, I have personally benefited through training at your facility. Your team made the entire process seamless and easier at a difficult time. Thank you.”
— A donor's Family Member