Donating a body for medical or scientific research can be an emotional process. Yet once a loved one passes away, decisions must be made quickly in order for cadaver donation to be successful. Taking measures before you or a relative passes away can clear the path to organ donation. Discussing this with your family can also ensure they know your wishes and understand how to make them a reality.

Fill Out Donation Forms

Identify an organization that you would like to donate your body to. This can be a medical school or scientific organization like BioGift or MedCure. Look up these organizations online or call them. Ask what research they do with cadavers and decide if this fits with your wishes.

Fill out donation forms. Each organization will have its own form, many of which are available online. This form states your wishes. You must sign this form in the presence of two legal witnesses. It is recommended that at least one of these individuals be a close family member. In this way you guarantee your family knows your wishes.

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Discuss your plans with the rest of your family. Tell them which organization you have signed up with. Let them know where you keep your donation form and what phone number they should call after your passing. Make sure they are comfortable with your decision.

If a loved one has told you about their decision to donate, make sure you know where their donation forms are located. Upon their passing, call the recipient organization as soon as possible. They will arrange for transportation and death certificates.


Discuss this decision with you family or religious leader. Keep your donation forms in a safe and secure spot such as a fireproof box.

About the Author

Evelyn Broderick has been a writer since 2004. Her work has been published by the Jewish Alliance for Women in Science. She holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and biology from Macaulay Honors College and is pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. in immunology at Sloan Kettering. She is also a member of the New York Academy of Sciences.