Anyone who is 18 years of age or older who is of sound mind may donate their body by completing the forms and returning the original to this office. Also, under some circumstances, a spouse, registered domestic partner, or attorney-in-fact, or children of the donor may make a donation at the time of death.
No, the Donated Body Program underwrites all costs associated with the removal, preservation and final disposition. However, there may be nominal fee charged to the immediate next of kin if the removal from place of death is in excess of 75 miles of UCLA.
In most instances, the will may not be read until several days after the donor’s death. Because of time constraints when the death occurs, it is important that the donor’s next of kin or agent knows the donor’s wishes at the time of enrollment and that they notify the program immediately after death occurs.
To be accepted, the body must have all vital organs intact (brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver). Bodies from which other vital organs have been removed for transplant purposes cannot be accepted.
It is not necessary to use a funeral provider when donating a body. In some cases, however, family members may wish to have a funeral provider coordinate a memorial service. The family is responsible for any additional costs in these situations.
It is not possible to hold a viewing or conduct a funeral for the donor due to time constraints. However, most families do hold memorial services for their loved ones shortly after the donation. Local funeral providers can assist in pre-arranging for these events.
Following receipt of the body, certain biomedical testing, followed by preservation for long-term study is carried out or the body maybe used immediately. Studies could easily last over several years. Students of medicine will study these bodies in an anatomy laboratory course. Bodies are available for research purposes in a variety of fields.
Following anatomical study for medical education and/or research, and in keeping within state code, the body is disposed of by any legal method in a professional and dignified manner. Remains are not available for return to the family.
We do not provide any reports of pathological findings, cause of death or details of specific studies. Certified copies of death certificates can be obtained through the department of birth and death registration at the county within which the death occurred.
The majority of the bodies are used for studies or medical research at the University of California , Los Angeles . Occasionally we receive a request from institutions of higher education or medical research outside UCLA. If the request is approved, we supply anatomical material assuming certain assurances are met. Following completion of the use, the body must be returned to UCLA for appropriate final disposition.
Donated body donors must be properly registered prior to death to ensure acceptance into the program. In addition, certain approved 3rd-parties may donate a body at the time of death. The family should be made aware that if the donor dies due to an infectious disease such as HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis, or Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, body weight is in excess of 250 lbs., has suffered a violent death, is a victim of suicide or has had vital organs removed for transplant purposes, the body will be not be accepted. The UCLA Donated Body Program strongly recommends that an alternative plan be put into place should the body not be accepted into the program at time of death. Local funeral providers can assist in pre-arranging for this possibility.
Local medical schools may not be able to accept the donation of an unexpected death because most donated body programs are restrictive in the way a donor would register into a program. Should an unexpected death occur, an autopsy may be required depending upon the laws of the state in which the event occurs, thus making the body unacceptable for study.
The donor should contact a local medical school to have their arrangement transferred.
Yes, by notifying this office in writing.