FAQ: Health care professionals

As someone who works in health care or senior care, you can play a critical role in can helping patients and their families understand their end-of-life options. Together, we can help save lives, advance medical research and education, and improve the quality of life of future generations.
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healthcare professionals

What are your exclusions for donation?

While extreme obesity and contagious diseases might disqualify someone as a Science Care donor, most people meet the criteria for donation, including those with cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Certain conditions such as having HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or extremely high or low BMI could exclude donation.

What if my patient doesn’t meet criteria?

Science Care makes every effort to match its donors with programs that align with their wishes. However, we cannot guarantee the patient’s medical and social history will align with medical research needs at the time of passing. If for any reason we aren’t able to proceed with honoring the gift of donation, we will refer the donor’s family to another program or crematory in the area.

What is the HOPE® Program?

Anyone who is under hospice, palliative care, or has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, qualifies to be screened for acceptance into our HOPE® Program. Science Care’s HOPE® Program is a no-cost program allowing patients, families, and healthcare providers to know with certainty, prior to passing, if a donor meets current research criteria, giving potential donors and their loved ones peace of mind when it’s needed most.

Who do you work with? Who are your clients?

Science Care’s clients include top pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, renowned educational institutions, and healthcare organizations large and small, focused on improving patient outcomes and advancing medicine.

What is the difference between donating through Science Care’s program and the donor symbol on the license?

Organ donation is live transplant to a living person. Donating your body to science is a non-transplant option helping to save countless lives through supporting medical research and education. Typically, a registered organ donor can also donate their body to science.

Who is the legal next of kin?

Contact Science Care at (800) 417-3747 and we can help you determine your legal next of kin.

Can we still have a viewing? Funeral? Open casket?

When donating your body to science through Science Care’s program, cremation is always the final disposition. While a traditional viewing or open casket funeral is not possible, many families have a memorial service either with or without the cremated remains.

How do you track the donation?

It is Science Care’s responsibility as a fully accredited program to implement a tracking and tracing system allowing us to track each donor through the entire donation process.

Does it cost anything to donate?

Once accepted into the program, Science Care is a no cost option that includes transportation, cremation, the return of cremated remains and filing of the death certificate. Registration in the Science Care program does not guarantee acceptance.

Are you a non-profit organization?

Science Care takes pride in being a for-profit business focused on compliance, ethics, and continuous improvement. Our passion for compliance and ethics resulted in Science Care being the first non-transplant tissue bank accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks, and it continues to drive the most robust infrastructure in the industry. Respect for our donors, their loved ones, and our clients have allowed us to become the leader in an industry helping to positively change the world.

How should advanced directives/wills be written in regard to donation/cremation?

A simple statement indicating you want your agent to have the ability to authorize body donation to science following death with no restrictions (also known as an anatomical gift), preferably with Science Care is ideal. You should also authorize cremation as the final disposition.

Make sure your paperwork does not state the following:

  • Statement(s) indicating you do not want to donate for medical research or education.
  • Statement(s) indicating you would be opposed to going to an international client.
  • Statement(s) indicating you don’t want to go to a company with a for-profit tax status.

Can you use the funeral home we work with to transport?

Typically, Science Care prefers to use its partners who are educated on the process for handling and transporting bodies donated to science. The funeral home or transport service is not confirmed until the passing has occurred in order to better facilitate the donation and provide the best service to you and our patient families.

What happens to the tissue after it’s used for research?

Final disposition of donated tissue for medical research and education follows all federal, state, and local laws. Loved ones receive the donor’s cremated remains from tissue not used for medical research and education within 3-5 weeks following donation.