Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell biology

Body Donation Program (Anatomical Gift Program)

The Medical University of South Carolina graciously acknowledges your interest in our Anatomical Gift Program. This page contains information about the Program, including how to become a donor, how to contact the Program, and a link to a page where you may download the needed forms. Please carefully read the information on this page prior to contacting the Program.

The MUSC Anatomical Gift Program is conducted according to the Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act adopted July 14, 2006, by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law and the American Bar Association, and by the South Carolina General Assembly on May 6, 2009, to enable individuals to donate their bodies to medical science.  At the Medical University of South Carolina, donated bodies are used for teaching students in various health programs such as medicine, dentistry, and allied health, as well as some advanced studies in later years of training and residency.

Who may donate?

The MUSC Anatomical Gift Program program requires a donor to be an individual of sound mind and 18 years of age or more. Individuals wishing to become donors must be pre-registered with the Program prior to time of death. The person whose body will be received by the Program must be the person who signs the MUSC Anatomical Gift Program donation form.

The MUSC Anatomical GIft Program can not accept next-of-kin body donations.

Our students need to study bodies not altered by major surgery or certain major diseases.  Individuals who wish to become donors in the Anatomical Gift Program should take note that a body donation can be declined at time of death based on the following points of medical history:
  • Extreme obesity (body weight must be proportional to height)
  • Amputations of upper or lower limbs (due to disease or trauma)
  • Removal of organs (organ donors are not accepted, except those donating eyes only)
  • Autopsy (requirement for autopsy supersedes donation of whole body)
  • History of specific contagious diseases:  hepatitis, meningitis, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS
  • Dementia from Creutzfeldt-Jakob virus (spongiform encephalitis)
  • Any major trauma to the body (due to accident, suicide, etc.)

Becoming a donor

To obtain the necessary forms, potential donors are should contact the Program at the following address:

MUSC Anatomical Gift Program
Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology
173 Ashley Avenue - BSB 601
MSC 508
Charleston, SC 29425-5080

or you may email your request to giftofbody@musc.edu
or you may contact the Program by phone at (843) 792-3521

Forms also may be downloaded online AT THIS LINK. These forms are in Adobe Acrobat PDF files. You must print these forms, enter the information, and return the signed forms to the mail address indicated above.

The MUSC Anatomical Gift Program reserves the right to reject body donations at any time, in case of unforeseen circumstances (such as full capacity of our storage facility).  We have many participants in this program and are unable to accept all donors at the time of their death.  You should make alternate arrangements to provide for care of your remains, should we be unable to accept your donation.  Donors may withdraw from the program at any time.

After completion of anatomical studies, the donor bodies are cremated and the ashes are interred at a local cemetery.  The Medical University of South Carolina does not automatically return the cremated remains of donors.  However, arrangements have been made with our local cremation center and the center will return the cremated remains to your designee for a fee of $600.  If you would like this to be done, please check this option on the donor form.  This will be recorded and information regarding this service will be sent to you.

Death Certificates

The MUSC Anatomical Gift Program prepares Death Certificates for the donors to our program. The Death Certificate is sent to the attending physician for signature, and then it is filed in the Bureau of Vital Records of the Department of Health and Environmental Services (DHEC) office in the county where death occurred. Please be aware that this process may take a couple of weeks to be completed.

Copies of the Death Certificate, needed for legal and estate purposes, should be obtained by applying to the county office of vital records in the county where death occurred.
(Contact information may be found at: http://www.scdhec.gov/administration/vr/locations.htm)

Information updated November 17, 2012

 

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