Riverside Funeral Services, Spalding


 Donating Your Body For Medical Research


According to the Royal College of Surgeons, a shortage of bodies donated to medical science is threatening the teaching of anatomy, which it believes is vital for tomorrow's doctors and surgeons.  The college is predicting a cadavar (dead body) shortage of nearly 30 per cent this year and estimates that UK medical schools need at least 1,000 bodies each year.  The fall in donations is due in part to the Human Tissue Act 2004, which has stopped the executor of an estate saying that it was the known wish of the deceased to donate their body.  People must now leave specific consent with their signature witnessed.

A body can be kept for up to three years and the regulation of donated bodies are rigorous, with a strict code of conduct in the dissection room, which includes only exposing the specific body part being examined.  There is even an annual thanksgiving service held at Southwark Cathedral, attended by about 800 people, including family and friends of donors as well as medical students. 

At the end of the period, the body will usually be cremated or buried at a special memorial service.


To View Medical Schools For Body Donations: click on the link:  https://www.hta.gov.uk/donating-your-body   


How to Donate Your Body.

Consideration will be given to the place and cause of death, the condition of the body at the time of death, and the demand for bodies in the medical schools. The body may or may not, then be accepted.                                                                                     

Bodies may also be refused if there has been a post-mortem or if any major organs except the cornea (part of the eye) have been removed.

For Teaching Purposes.

Potential donors can consent to their body being retained for medical teaching purposes for an indefinite period of time, or limit its use to a maximum of three years. The medical schools will arrange and pay for a simple funeral, or the relatives can do this themselves. The medical school can advise relatives when the body is available for a funeral.

Fill out a consent form which can be obtained from your local medical school.                                                                                           

Your signature should be witnessed and the document kept with your will and a copy lodged with the medical school.

Two donation options are available - 'non-retention' and 'retention'.  Non-retention means that the medical school cannot keep any of your body parts and after three years, the body is cremated or returned to the family for burial.  Retention means that the medical school can retain parts of your body for future use.

You can donate your body at any age over 17It makes no difference what age you are, although they are normally refused if there has been a post-mortem examination or any major organs (other than the cornea) have been removed.

Donations are now regulated by the Human Tissue Authority, which was set up to regulate the removal, storage, use and disposal of human bodies, organs and tissue for a number of Scheduled Purposes – such as research, transplantation, and education and training – set out in the Human Tissue Act 2004 (HT Act). To find further information and details of your local medical school, you can ring 020 7211 3400 or visit one of the websites below, or contact one of the addresses below:   

Human Tissue Authority
Finlaison House
15-17 Furnival

Tel:  020 7211 3400
Fax: 020 7211 3430

You can also download a body and brain donation information pack (PDF)  which is a printable version of the information held     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Or The:

( For inside the London area )

Room 5.8
5th floor Hodgkin Building
King's College London
Guy's Campus

SE1 1UL              

Tel: 020 7848 8042

Fax: 020 7848 8077
Email: lao@kcl.ac.uk


To View Medical Schools For Body Donations: click on the link below: