Organ Donation with Whole Body Donation – Is it possible?

Making end-of-life decisions is difficult, and it can be complicated when the possibility of organ donation comes into play, especially when the decedent has chosen whole body donation to scientific research. Can someone donate organs and still have a body accepted for research? The answer is, it depends.

First and foremost, please consider organ donation as a tremendous way to pay it forward. On any given day, over 107,000 are on a waiting list in the United States for an organ. On that same day, 17 people die waiting for an organ. Just one person can save up to eight lives with organ donation. Receiving an organ is literally life-changing. It can also help a family work through the grieving process and deal with their loss by knowing their loved one is helping save the lives of others.

Possible to Donate Just OrganMedical and research programs are extremely appreciative of the important gift of body donation made by participants and their families. Through their generosity, participants directly aid in the advancement of medical education and biomedical research. Anatomic donations are a critical part of the medical student education curriculum. They offer interns, residents and clinical fellows the ability to gain in-depth understanding of human anatomy. This translates directly to improving patient care. Biomedical research is furthered with the development of devices and therapy modalities made possible only through real anatomical study.

Here in St. Louis, the two main body donor programs for educational purposes are through Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Washington University School of Medicine. It is possible to donate eyes and be accepted into the whole body donation program. However, you will not be eligible for donation if you have donated any other organ such as the heart, lung, kidney or liver. Even tissue donation may disqualify you from their respective donor programs.

Body donation programs may be available to private research organizations, and even different medical schools have varying rules about organ donation and body donation. Just be sure to do your research beforehand, and consult the experts at St. Louis Body Donation if you have any questions. Our caring staff and funeral directors provide thoughtful and respectful answers to your questions, and our services are affordable. For more information about body donation or body donation transportation, please call us at (314) 252-0462.

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