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Body Donation Policy

The Donation of Bodies for Education & Biomedical Research

Guidelines Suggested by the American Association for Anatomy

The American Association for Anatomy (AAA) strongly believes it is critical that those entrusted with responsibility for a Willed Body Program meet high standards related to the integrity, identity, and security of the bodies donated to their programs.

Donation Policies

  • The donation of bodies must follow state and local laws. An institution may have additional requirements but cannot have fewer requirements than state and local governments.
  • Donation forms must follow state and local regulations and requirements.
  • Donation literature should describe all possible uses of donated bodies at that institution.

Institutional Policies

  • Each institution should have an oversight committee to which the individual in charge of the Body Donation Program reports.
  • The Institutional Oversight Committee shall appoint an individual to be responsible for the daily operation of the Body Donation Program.
  • The Body Donation Program should be reviewed on a yearly basis by the Institutional Oversight Committee.

Program Policies

  • Body Donation Programs should clearly describe the use of cadavers as it relates to institutional and educational needs.
  • Records documenting the use of cadavers should be reviewed by the Institutional Oversight Committee on a regular basis.
  • The shipment of cadavers must follow all state and local requirements.
  • Facilities where cadavers are used must be appropriate and secured from entry by unauthorized personnel.
  • Disposal of cadaveric remains should be documented and must follow all state and local regulations and requirements.

Adopted November 13, 2009 by the Board of Directors
Revised October 22, 2019 by the Board of Directors

Donating Your Body to Science

If you are interested in donating your body to science, please contact your nearest medical school to inquire about policies related to body donation. Each state in the United States has different rules and regulations regarding body donation. Medical schools have liaison offices to help potential donors navigate the process of body donation. Thank you for giving the ultimate gift.

Also See

A Discussion on Body Donation
A statement on the unethical and criminal acts of some “body-brokers.”