Whole Body Donation

Your Gift To Future Generations

What is whole-body donation?

We hardly think about our bodies when they feel good and function properly, but when a system goes wrong or disease develops, a trip to the doctor is in order to investigate what is wrong and how to treat it. The advice that our physician gives, the medication that is prescribed, the surgery and/or treatment that is recommended- all of the information that is known about your body was impacted by research and education made possible through whole-body donation. Whole-body donations are important in teaching medical professionals human anatomy, practicing and perfecting new surgical procedures, developing new medicines and finding cures for diseases and conditions that affect mankind today. What could your body contribute to the ever expanding knowledge of medicine?

How is organ donation different than whole-body donation?

Organ donation provides life saving organs and tissue for transplantation into another living human to save their life. Whole-body donation is similar to transplant donation in that it helps others, but instead of being transplanted into a living person, tissues and/or organs provide a unique opportunity for medical research and education to learn and support advancements in medicine. It is possible to be both an organ donor and a whole-body donor; however, separate registration is required. If a disease or another circumstance makes organ transplant donation unsuitable then whole-body donation is an option that supports humanity in a different, but equally important way.

The symbol on your driver’s license is not enough!

Anatomical tissue procurement agencies follow the Revised Anatomical Gift Act which mandates that consent for anatomical donation, whether for transplant or medical education and research be received from the donor’s legal next-of-kin after death. This applies even if the donor pre-registered or applied for anatomical donation themselves prior to death. For this reason, if you consent to anatomical donation but do not inform your legal next-of-kin about your decision, your wishes may not be carried out.

Anatomical donation for transplant and/or medical education and research is not only an individual decision but one that should be made with your family. In the event of your untimely death you will prevent further tragedy by communicating your final wishes to your family and prevent them from trying to force a decision at a highly emotional time.

For more information:

Anatomical donation for transplant = Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank – www.pntb.org – (800) 344-8916
Whole-body donation for medical education and research = MedCure – www.medcure.org – (866) 560-2525

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