What to Do When Death Occurs

When death occurs, the Donated Body Program must be notified within 24 hours of the death by calling (310) 794-0372.

This number is active 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At the time of the initial call, the anatomical gift will be screened for acceptability into the program and the University will arrange for transportation of the body from the place of death to the School of Medicine.

Transportation is arranged as soon as possible so that the anatomical gift can be used to its fullest potential. The surviving family should be advised that the body can not be available for a funeral. Memorial services can be arranged by contacting a local funeral provider at the discretion of the family. Donated bodies cannot be viewed after UCLA has taken possession of them, since the preparation for anatomical use may begin immediately upon the body's arrival at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

When the body is received at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, it is tested for infectious disease and then embalmed to optimally preserve the body for later study or used within a short period of time without embalming. After studies on a donated body are completed, the body is disposed of in accordance with California state code.

All transportation, preparation, and disposal costs are paid for by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Due to the undetermined length of time the remains may be used, and the variety of potential uses, ashes will not be returned to the donor's family.