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Body Donation Program

The UConn School of Medicine gratefully accepts the donation of bodies for teaching and medical research.

Information about body donation through our Anatomical Donation Program is provided below. For more details and to obtain the necessary forms, contact the Anatomical Donation Program at 860-679-2247. The office is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. During non-business hours, you may call the 24-hour answering service at 860-223-4340.

Procedures

Prospective donors should inform family members of their wish to donate their body. It is usually not sufficient to include intentions about body donation in wills, because there is a time limit for accepting the body after death (within 48 hours) and wills often are read after the time limit. UConn Health provides prospective donors with a laminated identification card for their wallets with information about their wish to donate their body.

Transporting the Body

When a donor dies, family members should contact the Anatomical Donation Program immediately after a doctor or nurse has made a pronouncement of death. The body will be taken to the Health Center at no cost to the deceased by a licensed funeral director working with the Anatomical Donation Program. The body is embalmed, prepared, and stored securely until it is needed for teaching purposes. It is not sold or loaned to other universities or research programs.

UConn Health cannot accept bodies from people who die outside of Connecticut. Donors who relocate should notify the Anatomical Donation Program. Those who remain interested in anatomical donation should contact a medical school in their new state of residence.

Conditions that May Interfere with Donation

Although age is not a factor, some conditions make a body unsuitable for teaching and educational purposes. These conditions include obesity or extreme underweight, edema or swelling, dehydration, an autopsy, or infectious disease. Representatives of the Anatomical Donation Program can provide more information about conditions that may interfere with donation and they will evaluate the body at the time of death to determine its suitability for teaching and research purposes.

Donations for Transplantation

For those who wish to donate their body for teaching purposes, only the eyes may be donated for transplantation. Donation of other tissue or organs makes the body unsuitable for teaching purposes. Information and forms about donation of eyes for transplantation are available from the Eye Bank at The Hospital of Central Connecticut at 860-224-5550.

Final Disposition

When study of the body is completed, the remains are cremated at UConn Health’s expense and the ashes returned to the family, according to the donor’s instructions. The Anatomical Donation Program maintains a complete list of those who donated their body to UConn Health for teaching purposes.

Memorial Services

At the end of each academic year, in honor of the donors, UConn Health holds a memorial service that is attended by students, faculty and donors’ family members.