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Willed Body Progam

Medical Science Body Donations

Neurobiology and Anatomy > Department Administration > Willed Body Program > Questions
Willed Body Program: General Information | Questions | Donor Forms | Contact Us

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I will my body to science?
Contact The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Medical School at (713) 500‐5603 and request
that we send body donation forms to you. Upon receipt, complete the forms, have it witnessed, and return the
originals to the Medical School.

Do you accept a body which has been autopsied?
No. It is not a good teaching specimen for the study of human anatomy. However, sometimes we have a special
project in progress that allows us to accept the donation. Therefore, you would have to call us at the time of death
to determine whether we could accept an autopsied body.

If I am signed up with an organ donation center, can I still donate my body to science?
We will not accept bodies after the organs are removed for transplantation. You may, however, register with both
organizations so that at the time of death if the organs are not usable for transplantation, you may be able to donate
the whole body to our institution. We want the body to be in the best possible condition for our anatomical
teaching and research. To remove an organ for transplantation would cause the body to be unusable for instruction

When a person dies, what does the family do?
At the time of death, the family will call our Anatomical Call Pager at (713) 760‐2649. Let them know that a prewilled
arrangement was made by the deceased, or that the nearest surviving relative wishes to make a donation to
our Medical School.

What if I live outside of Houston city limits, will we still pick up the body?
Yes. We will provide transportation of the remains from any location in Texas. However, the Medical School will
assume the cost for transportation within a 100 mile radius of the Medical School at 6431 Fannin Street Houston,
Texas 77030. Removals made outside of the radius are subject to mileage and/or embalming charge.

When would a body be unacceptable for donations?
We would not accept a registered donor’s body for the program if the body has been severely injured in an
accident, if a highly contagious disease such as hepatitis, jaundice, VD, TB or HIV or MRSA/VRE, is present at the
time of death, if the body is obese or emaciated or if the body is too large for storage purposes. We will not accept a
body that has had organs removed for transplantation.

Can a body be donated for specific disease research?
No. The primary use of the cadavers is for medical education. We do not accept bodies to ascertain the cause of
death or for specific disease research.

Are there age restrictions for body donation?
There is no age maximum, but the minimum age must be at least eighteen (18).

What do you do with the body and how long do you keep it?
The bodies are used in the teaching of anatomy to medical students, and for special projects concerning specific
parts of the body. The bodies are housed at our facility and may be used for 2 years or more.

What do you do with the remains when you are finished?
The Medical School cremates all remains. There is no charge for cremains designated for scattering at sea. If the
donor or family requests that the cremains be returned to the next of kin or designee, we charge a current
rate of $180.00. The cremains will be held for at least 90 days following notification by mail that the cremains are
available for return. If no contact is established with the next of kin or recipient of the cremated remains, the
remains will be co‐mingled in preparation for scattering at sea and will no longer be available for return. It is
extremely important to update the recipient’s contact information with the Willed Body Program.

How does one cancel a body donation?
Written notification to our office of your wish to rescind your donation will remove you from our database.

Should a notation be in the will of someone donating his/her body?
Yes. Doing so would emphasize your desire to make the donation.

In the event that someone dies and hasn't filled out the proper documentation prior to death, can their
body still be donated by a relative or next of kin?

Yes. The surviving relatives or next of kin would then fill out the After Death Donation Forms. The State
Anatomical Board of Texas defines the next of kin in priority order as follows:

a) Spouse
b) If no living spouse, an adult son or daughter
c) If no living spouse or adult son or daughter, then either living parent
d) If no living spouse, adult son or daughter or either parent, then an adult brother or sister.

If you have additional questions about the program, please call or e‐mail The Willed Body Program at The
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School.


Kimberley D. Perez
Coordinator, Willed Body Program

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
6431 Fannin Suite 7.046
Houston, Texas 77030-1501
713.500.5603 Phone
713.500.0522 Fax
713.716.4414 Pager
Contact Kimberley Perez via E-Mail
Contact Anatomical Services Pager (Alpha Page Text Messaging)

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) - Medical School

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Date Last Modified: September 16, 2013 10:32 AM
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