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Donation of a body to science

Donation of a body to Medical Science / Medical Research

The human body provides a source of knowledge that is the foundation of medical education and research.

The donation of a body to medical science means the  body is transferred in its entirety to a nearby medical school. There it is used to benefit medical teaching and research. Donor bodies are used to teach medical and other health science students the relationship between systems and the structure of the human body. The donation of remains to medical science is governed by the Anatomy Act 1832.


Can I donate my body if I am also on the Organ Donor Register?

People who choose to donate their body or organs do so in the hope that they will be useful to others after their death. Despite being separate donation systems, it is possible for a person to be registered as an organ donor and to have registered their wish to donate their body, after death, to a medical school. However, medical schools may decline a body donation if the person has undergone surgery to remove organs for transplantation.


If I Do Decide to Donate, Does A Medical School Have to Accept My Body?

Medical schools will only accept bodies once they have had a chance to examine them. Each medical school has guidelines on why they will or will not accept bodies for donation. All medical schools welcome the offer of a donation. However, certain medical conditions may lead to the offer being declined. These conditions and any other reasons for a body donation being declined can be obtained from each medical school.


What Happens if a Medical School Does Not Accept My Body?

If your body is not accepted by a medical school your family will become responsible for your remains.


If I Die Suddenly, Can My Family or Executor Donate My Body for Me?

No. Donations can only be made by the individual and must be made in writing using the appropriate forms.


If I Become Incapacitated, Can the Individual with Power of Attorney Donate My Body?

No. Donations can only be made by the individual and must be made in writing using the appropriate forms.


What Arrangements Must I Make for Donating My Body to Medical Science?

The wish to donate your body to medical science must be made in writing via a consent form that can be obtained from your local medical school. You should send this form back to the school, but retain a copy for your own records and a copy to be kept with your will. You should also express your wish to donate your body to medical science in writing and have it witnessed. You should also inform your family, close friends and GP that you wish to donate your body.


Are there any costs or payments involved?

You will not receive any payment for donating your body. The  medical school may request that the donor’s estate contribute to the cost of transporting the body, particularly if the donation falls outside of the medical school’s local area.

 
 

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Ms. Laraine O'Brien,
Department of Anatomy,
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland,
123 St. Stephen's Green,
Dublin 2.

Email: laraineobrien@rcsi.ie

Trinity College Dublin
Ms. Philomena McAteer or
Ms. Siobhan Ward,
Anatomy Department,  School of Medicine,
Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute,
152 Pearse Street,  Trinity College,
Dublin 2.

Email:  pmcateer@tcd.ie  or sward@tcd.ie

UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science
Mr Gary Perry,
Body Donor Programme,
Health Sciences Centre, C231
University College Dublin,
Belfield, Dublin 4.

Email: gary.perry@ucd.ie

 
 

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