How to donate your body to science

Body donors pave the way for the medical community to help future generations live longer, healthier lives. Science Care's body donation process, which includes no-cost cremation, is outlined below. Our goal is always to honor and maximize the gift of each donation.

How the body donation process works with Science Care

1. Register your intent to donate

You can sign up with the Science Care online donor registry in less than 3 minutes. There's no obligation or cost after you register.

Register today
Note: If you or your loved one has been diagnosed as terminally ill, or is under hospice or palliative care, please fill out the pre-enrollment form to begin the screening for Science Care’s HOPE® Program.

2. Make your wishes known

After you register, notify loved ones of your wish to donate. If your family does not know your wishes, it could negatively impact your ability to donate. About 40% of those who register never become donors, so please consider the following steps:

“I’d like to thank the entire team at Science Care for your care and professionalism at the time of our mother’s passing. Your team made the entire process seamless and easier at a difficult time. She had made her wishes clear years ago when she and her husband registered with your program. Thank you.”
— A donor's Family Member

What happens next?

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3. Medical screening

A loved one or care provider contacts Science Care to notify us when:

  • A donor enters hospice care, palliative care, or is terminally ill, or...
  • An unexpected passing has occurred.

To complete the medical screening with a Science Care representative, call us 24 hours a day at (800) 417-3747.

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4. Donation process begins

  • After acceptance, Science Care coordinates transportation to bring the donor into our care.
  • A Science Care Donor Services Coordinator will assist consenters throughout the donation process and will obtain any pending or required authorizations.
  • Science Care files the death certificate in the county of passing.
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5. Completion of donation

  • Specimens are procured for medical research, surgical training, and education programs.
  • Any tissue not matched with a current Science Care program is cremated and can be returned, if requested, to the individual designated on the consent form, approximately 3-5 weeks following the donation.
bird icon representing burial

6. Celebration of donation

  • Memorial Services: Many families will have a celebration of life or memorial service for their loved one.
  • Legacy Letter: Science Care emails a letter to the donation consenter, outlining research programs at the time of donation.
  • Memory in Nature: As a celebration of life, a tree is planted in honor of each donor.

Can I donate my body to science?

Most people meet the criteria for donation with Science Care, including those with cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Certain issues such as location of residence or passing, or consent or legal issues may impact final acceptance in to the Science Care Program.

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