Registration

  1. What are the advantages of registering?

    When a death occurs, your next of kin and/or personal representative listed in your will is legally responsible for your remains. Having your written consent on file will help your family decide what to do next during a very stressful time for them. As a member of the program, it is our hope you will have already discussed your wishes with your family and have their support. 

  1. Can I change my mind regarding body donation?

    Yes, you may change your mind at any time regarding your donation. Please let your loved ones know of your final decision, and ask that they honour your wishes. As well, please contact the Body Donation Program to inform them of the changes.

  1. After registering in the program, is my acceptance guaranteed?

    The Cumming School of Medicine greatly appreciates everyone who is willing to donate their remains. There are instances where we will be unable to accept the donation, acceptance decisions cannot be finalized until the time of death. It is much less stressful for your family if you work with them to lay the groundwork for alternative plans. Follow this link to see our exclusion criteria:

  1. I have an underlying medical condition, would this not be of research interest?

    The primary focus in accepting donations into our program is in teaching normal anatomy of the human body not pathology. Contrary to public opinion regarding the nature of medical research, researchers unfortunately do not have legal access to confidential case histories of donors nor do they have in most cases, the need to study diseased tissue to further their particular research endeavours. An alternative would be to consent for autopsy with permission/consent granted for tissue obtained at autopsy to be used for educational and/or research activities.

  1. I have a rare disease. If my body is donated, will my family get a report?

    Our primary focus is in teaching normal anatomy of the human body and so we are unable to provide that kind of service. Families wishing to gain more knowledge about their family member's illness or condition may wish to seek an autopsy which can be arranged through their family doctor and the Department of Pathology at the Foothills Hospital which specializes in this area.

  1. When will we find out if an individual has been accepted?

    The decision to accept will be given after discussing the case with the physician, caregiver or next of kin at the time of death.

  1. How can we get more info on Organ and Tissue Donation?

    For further information, please contact the nursing coordinator with the Southern Alberta Organ and Tissue Donation Program at 1-403-944-8700.

  1. How do I Register?

    To register in our program, you are required to fill out, and return to us the Registration form as well as the Donor Demographic form. We encourage registrants to also fill out the Executor form and leave it with the appropriate individual. These forms can be found at the following location: 

     

     

  1. I would like to donate my organs, can I participate in Body Donation too?

    Our program strongly supports all individuals who chose to donate their organs, and we encourage all those interested to register for both programs. At the time of death the acceptance decision will be made by each program based on eligibility criteria. The removal of internal organs and tissues (i.e. excluding cornea & sclera from the eyes) prior to embalming, makes your body unsuitable for our educational needs.

  1. How is my privacy protected?

    The privacy of donors is protected according to current legislative requirement, and all staff members and students are committed to treating all donated bodies with the utmost dignity. Students and researchers are only given the age, gender and cause of death of a body if it's deemed necessary for their studies.

  1. I meet one or more of the exclusion criteria, what are my options?

    If you or your loved one meet one of the above exclusion criteria it is advised that you make alternative arrangements with a funeral home of your choosing. You may also wish to inquire with other programs such as the University of Calgary Brain Bank. 

  1. I'm moving outside of your service area, but would like to donate.

    Unfortunately due to program logistics we often cannot arrange for the movement of potential donors over areas far extending our designated service area. However medical schools across Western Canada do have similar programs:

    University of Alberta Anatomical Gifts - (780) 492-2203

    UBC - 604-822-2578 / body.program@ubc.ca

    University of Saskatchewan - 306-966-4075