A Donor's Gift is Priceless

"We will remember your generosity for years to come. Thank you for the gift to our training."

– Briana, Lerner College of Medicine Class of 2018

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Donation Process

Donating your body to our program is easy. By pre-registering, you help simplify the process and ensure that your wishes are met.


The minimum age for body donation is 18; there is no upper age limit. Prospective donors should pre-register with the program. However, if someone dies without having pre-registered, it is possible for the next of kin to donate the body. 


We cannot accept a body donation when there is: 


  • severe trauma (advanced decomposition, serious injury, septic shock)
  • presence of an infectious disease such as hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), or Clostridium difficile (C. diff)
  • extreme obesity (BMI above 39)


Other considerations: 


  • the death must occur within the state of Ohio
  • some limitations exist with regard to autopsy and organ donation 
  • some limitations exist with regard to cause of death 


By pre-registering with the program, you are taking a practical approach to help ensure that your wishes will be met. You also simplify the process for your survivors. Simply complete the registration form and return it to us. Upon receipt, we will mail you an acknowledgement letter and donor cards.


To request an information packet, please call 216.444.6870 or request one online. You can also access it here:


  Download the registration form


If you pre-register with the program and later change your mind, just contact us. We will update our records to reflect that you have withdrawn from the program and then mail you a letter stating the same.


If an individual is not pre-registered with the program, we usually can accept the donation made by the next of kin at the time of death. Please contact us at that time to determine eligibility.

Call 216.444.2200 and tell the operator that you are calling to report a death for the Body Donation Program. 


Please refer to “Frequently Asked Questions” for additional information.

The program maintains a securely locked anatomy laboratory. Bodies are treated with the utmost care and are always handled in a respectful and dignified manner. Studies could take anywhere between several weeks and 18 months. Upon completion, the remains are individually cremated. 


When the ashes are ready for final disposition, we notify the donor’s representative and ask them to contact us regarding their wishes. The cremated remains can either be:

  • given to the next of kin
  • interred in the program’s niche at the historic Lake View Cemetery, an option we are pleased to offer free of charge


Each choice for final disposition should be considered a permanent decision.