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 and let your loved ones know about your wishes.
  • If you or your loved one is under hospice or palliative care, or has been diagnosed as terminally ill, we encourage you to get pre-screened for guaranteed acceptance into the Science Care HOPE® Program: call (800) 417-3747 or fill out this pre-enrollment form.

Most people meet the criteria for body donation to science, including those with cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and many other chronic conditions. The most common rule-out for donation is a contagious disease. It is important we protect the safety of our medical researchers and educators.

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 will already have 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 signed authorizations from all donation and cremation consenters, including a death certificate form and a medical and social history form.
  • 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 sends a letter to all consenters, outlining current research programs at the time of the 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