- Occasionally we must refuse a donor’s body in the following situations: We cannot accept mutilated bodies (e.g., automobile accidents), bodies that have unhealed major surgery prior to death or have been autopsied, or from which major organs have been removed/donated. Other conditions that may cause a body to be refused include obesity, malnutrition, excessive edema, hepatitis, jaundice and infectious diseases that may put recipients at risk. Due to changes in a person’s health over time, the decision to accept or refuse a body will be made at the time of death by the UW Mortician, and not at the time the donor signs the registration form. Registration does not constitute acceptance in advance.
- We accept bodies only from those persons who have made prearrangements by filing forms in advance with our Program.
- Program morticians do not make removals from private residences and most nursing homes. If death occurs in a private setting, the family must contact a local funeral home to make the removal and hold the remains until our mortician arrives. However, we are able to make removals if death occurs at a hospital facility which has a morgue.
- On occasion, our departmental mortician is unable to immediately remove the body from the place of death (local mortuary or hospital) due to distance, weather, or another commitment. In those instances (see#3), interim funeral home expenses are the responsibility of the family. See #5.
- Families may hold funeral services before we receive the body. Any funeral home expenses are the responsibility of the family, including paperwork if performed by the local funeral director.
- The UW School of Medicine and Public Health does not charge donor families for our services.
- Once we have completed the study of a body, the remains are cremated. Ashes will be returned if designated on the form provided. Normally it is a year to two before cremains are ready to be returned. Ashes not returned are buried on University property in an unmarked grave. Ashes not requested cannot be retrieved. The University does not maintain gravesites.
- Each year, students who have studied and learned from the donors conduct a memorial service to recognize the gift of the donor. You will be notified by mail about this memorial service.