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, be sure to share your wish to donate with your loved ones. About 40% of those who register never become donors, so consider the following steps to ensure your body donation wishes are honored

“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 after a Science Care donor passes?

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3. Notification call

  • A loved one or care provider contacts Science Care to notify us of the 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).
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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 pending information or required authorizations.
  • 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.
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5. 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.
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6. 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.

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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