Body Donation

The School of Medicine's education program has an ongoing need for whole body donations to support our medical, dental and other health professional training programs. Your gift will ensure the training in human anatomy of our State's future health care leaders.

 

Why Donate/What is the Need?
The donation of one's body is a precious gift. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) has an ongoing need for whole body donations to support our medical, dental and other health professional training programs. Your gift will ensure the training in human anatomy of our State's future health care leaders. This site will provide the necessary information so that you can make an informed decision regarding body donation.

 

Who May Donate?
Any person 18 years of age or older may be a donor.

 

Costs
The family will be responsible for paying for transportation to our facility. The UNC-CH School of Medicine will pay for embalming, cremation, and return of their cremated remains to the next-of-kin.


How To Donate?
Read and complete the attached forms:


Make a copy of the completed documents for your files and send the original to:


UNC-CH School of Medicine
Body Donation Program
608 Berryhill Hall, Campus Box 7520
333 South Columbia Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7520

A confirmation notice will be sent to you when we receive your completed forms. We suggest that the forms and our confirmation notice be kept in a secure place and that your next-of-kin and/or executor be informed of your intentions.


Out-of-State Donations
We do not accept out-of-state donations. We suggest that you contact a medical school in the State where the death occurred regarding donation.


Procedure at the Time of Death
The Body Donation Program should be contacted as soon as possible. Call 919-966-1134 and follow the detailed instructions. The Body Donation Program Director or associate will ask a few questions about the cause of death and condition of the body before determining if the body will meet our medical and educational criteria. If the body is accepted, the estate or next-of-kin will need to arrange for transportation to our facility.


Reasons for Declining a Body

We can not accept bodies if any of the following conditions are present at death: Infectious diseases, hepatitis, jaundice, Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, venereal disease, tuberculosis, AIDS, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphyococcus aureus), or obesity. We will also not accept a body that has been autopsied, or has committed suicide. The Body Donation Program reserves the right to refuse any body, which will not serve our intended educational purposes.


Memorial Services
Families are invited to our annual memorial service conducted by the students to honor our donors. Students along with the faculty are given a chance to express their appreciation and gratitude to the donor families.


Respect for the Dead
Students and faculty members never lose sight of the fact that each donor wanted to make a contribution to medical education. Each donor is treated with dignity and respect. The laboratories are restricted and only accessible to medical, dental, and allied health students, faculty, and staff associated with the anatomy program.


Final Disposition of Remains
After the students have completed their studies (one to two years after the body has been received), the bodies are individually cremated. The cremated remains are then mailed to the next-of-kin via registered mail.