Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for considering the generous gift of body donation. We are here to assist with completion of forms and logistics for body donations up to 150 miles from St. Louis within Missouri. Here are some answers to our most frequently asked questions. Feel free to contact us if you need additional information.
St. Louis Body Donation takes pride providing families with the latest information about body donation, as well as pointing you in the right direction to provide you or your loved one with a $595.00 transportation for body donation to the medical school of choice in St. Louis. We can also assist with transportation with transportation to other medical schools in Missouri, size distance charges may apply.
In order to donate your body to science, you will need to have setup the anatomical donation before death. We charge $595 to process anatomical donations.
Once a deceased person has chosen to donate their body to science, there are a few steps necessary to complete the process. First, we need to collect information from the family as soon as possible to complete the death certificate. Usually we can do this at the same time as we pick up the body of the deceased. We submit the death certificate to the state as quickly as possible. A drafted copy of the death certificate is required for a medical school to accept a deceased’s body.
Following the death certificate submission, we take the deceased’s body to the medical school where it is being donated as soon as possible so the school can prepare it to ensure preservation for study. If someone passes away from certain infections, they may not be eligible for donation. Medical schools also have weight restrictions for anatomical donation. We can help you communicate with the medical school receiving the anatomical donation to ensure it can receive the body, and we can work with you to come up with a plan if the school does not accept the body.
Nearly everyone will qualify for donation. By registering, you can state your intent to donate your body to science for the opportunity to contribute to future medical advancements. Get started today.
For most academic institutions, you must be at least 18 years of age to make an anatomical gift. There is no maximum age for body donation.
If you are registered with a medical school such as Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University, there is no charge for body donation. A licensed funeral provider must provide the transportation and will be responsible for the death certificate. St. Louis Body Donation provides transportation services at an affordable price.
Exclusion criteria is different for each program, but most include the following guidelines.
- Must be under 6’ 4” in height
- BMI must be under 27-28. Weight for women should be approximately 100-180 pounds and men between 100 and 200 pounds.
- Body must be free of infection, blood disease and contaminants including
- Hepatitis A through E (even if it was deemed “cured”)
- Active staph infections, MRSA, VRSA, VRE; E.coli; Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff)
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob, HIV, AIDS, Fungus Candida Auris, Klebsiella
- Active tuberculosis, meningitis, encephalitis, Noro Virus, Corona Virus
- Sepsis(blood poisoning)
- Severe jaundice
- Open wounds, skin ulceration, large bed sores, unhealed deep incisions, gangrene (exceptions are possible, based on current condition of the wounds and/or current course needs)
- Ascites or any significant abdominal bloating/fluids
- Recent (within 6 months) radioactive implants
- Other situations under which we cannot accept a body
- Drowning, submergence in water at death
- Severe burns, severe trauma
- Recent, unhealed, invasive surgery wounds
- Significant edema in the head and facial area
You can opt out of a body donation program at any time. Programs ask that you pre-register so that your loved ones know it is your desire to donate your body. If you decide that you would rather not proceed in the event of your death, just let the program know.
No. You cannot specify that your body be used for research on a certain ailment or by a certain type of physician or student. Please know that institutions with body donor programs respect each donation and utilize your donation for medical advancement and training of the highest standard.
Most medical programs cremate remains. For example, Washington University spreads cremains over the grounds of their Tyson Research Center near Eureka, Missouri.
Your gift of anatomical donation makes a difference. Your loved ones can find comfort in the knowledge that your gift will advance medical knowledge for current and future medical professionals. If you want to know more about available programs, you can contact St. Louis Body Donations at 314-252-0462.