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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. WHO MAY BEQUEATH THEIR BODY TO MEDICAL SCIENCE IN INDIANA?
Any person 18 years of age or over may bequeath their body to medical science. There is no upper age limit.

Q. HOW DO I DONATE MY BODY TO THE ANATOMICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM?
Simply by completing the Certificate of Bequeathal form and returning to us.

Q. HOW MUCH DOES THE ANATOMICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM PAY FOR BODIES?
No monies are paid for procurement of bodies for anatomical studies. All human material utilized in teaching is by donation. 

Q. HOW MUCH WILL IT COST ME TO DONATE MY BODY TO THE PROGRAM?
If you donate directly to the Anatomical Education Program (317) 274-7450, through the Direct Donor Program, your donation will not cost you anything. The Direct Donor Program will provide transportation, embalming, and assist in filing of the paperwork (i.e.: death certificate, obituaries, and other necessary forms) at no cost to the family. However, if the newspaper charges for the obituary or if your family needs certified copies of the death certificate, these fees need to be paid to the newspaper or the board of health directly by the family.

Q. DO I HAVE TO USE THE DIRECT DONOR PROGRAM?
No. You may have a funeral director provide the services listed above. However, a funeral director may charge you for his services, and you are responsible for all his fees.

Q. WHAT PROCEDURE SHOULD BE FOLLOWED UPON MY DEATH?
Your family should call the Anatomical Education Program. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day and we will direct you through the procedures. Our phone number is (317) 274-7450.

Q. WHAT COULD PREVENT MY BODY FROM BEING ACCEPTED?
The cause of death could prevent use of the body for medical education. If the cause of death is an infectious or communicable disease, or if there is trauma to the body that may render it unusable for teaching, the body can not be accepted. Excessive height, weight, or recent surgery could also prevent acceptance.

Q. MAY AN AUTOPSY OR POST-MORTEM EXAMINATION BE CONDUCTED?
No. The Anatomical Education Program cannot accept autopsied bodies. 

Q. WHAT HAPPENS SHOULD MY BODY NOT BE ACCEPTED BY THE ANATOMICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM?
Your family would be notified and directed to call a funeral director to make arrangements for an alternative form of disposition. It should be noted that every effort is made to accept all donations.

Q. MAY I HAVE A FUNERAL SERVICE?
You may elect to have a funeral service after which the body is brought to the Anatomical Education Program. Some people have a funeral service: others have the body brought to the Medical Center with a memorial service at a church or funeral home at a later time.

Q. HOW WILL MY BODY BE USED? 
All donations are used for education and limited research purposes. 

Q. WHAT HAPPENS TO MY BODY AFTER YOU HAVE COMPLETED YOUR STUDIES?
The bodies are cremated. The program usually requires 18-24 months before the cremains may be claimed or inurned.

Q. WHO PAYS FOR CREMATION?
The Anatomical Education Program of the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Q. CAN MY CREMAINS BE RETURNED TO MY FAMILY?
You may stipulate on the Certificate of Bequeathal your wish to have the cremains returned to the family or to a funeral director. After remains are cremated, the family is notified that they may stop at our office and receive the cremains. It is also possible, with a written request, for us to mail the cremains by certified mail.

Q. WHAT IF I DO NOT WANT MY CREMAINS RETURNED?
A portion of Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis has been set aside for burial of the cremains of those who gave their bodies to benefit medical education. The cemetery area is marked with a memorial which can be personalized at a family's request.

Q. IS A MEMORIAL SERVICE HELD?
Yes. An annual memorial service is held in Indianapolis with a Protestant Chaplin, Priest and Rabbi. Family and friends may attend this service. The service is held in the fall and families receive advance notice of the memorial service.

Q. WHAT IF I LIVE IN ANOTHER STATE?
Your family should make arrangements with a funeral director to assume responsibility for bringing your body to the Medical Center. In this case, you will be responsible for the cost of your body being prepared and transported. 

Q. WILL THE ANATOMICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM ACCEPT MY BODY IF I GIVE MY EYES, AND/OR OTHER ORGANS FOR TRANSPLANT?
A person may donate their eyes to the Indiana Lions Eye Bank. Except under special circumstances, the donation of tissue and/or organs other than eyes for transplant would render the body unacceptable to our Program.

Q. WHERE DO I GET INFORMATION ON THE DONATION OF EYES, ORGANS AND OTHER TISSUE? 
INDIANA LIONS EYE BANK, Indiana University Medical Center, 702 Rotary Circle, Indianapolis, Indiana 46223 
(317) 808-5000 or 1-800-232-4384

INDIANA ORGAN PROCUREMENT ORGANIZATION, INC., 3760 Guion Road, Indianapolis, Indiana 46222-1618 
(317) 685-0389 or 1-888-275-4676

CENTRAL INDIANA REGIONAL BLOOD CENTER, 3450 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208 (317)927-1692

Q. IF I BEQUEATH MY BODY, MAY I WITHDRAW MY BEQUEATHAL AT A LATER DATE?
You may withdraw your bequeathal at any time, with a written request to the Anatomical Education Program.

Q. SHOULD THE BEQUEATHAL OF MY BODY BE MADE A PROVISION OF MY WILL?
It may be, although this is not necessary. If provisions are made only in your will, your body may not be accepted since there is usually a considerable delay before a will is probated. We request that the Certificate of Bequeathal be signed by the donor and two competent witnesses. 

Q. MAY I PAY THE EXPENSES THAT THE ANATOMICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM INCURS WITH MY BODY DONATION? 
Yes. The Anatomical Education Program does accept monetary donations which help to support expenses associated with medical, dental and allied health education within the State of Indiana. Such donations qualify for an Indiana College Credit on your State tax form, and also qualify for an itemized deduction on your Federal form.

Q. WHAT IF I HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?
If you have additional questions regarding bequeathal procedures or the Program, please call the Anatomical Education Program at (317) 274-7450

The Anatomical Education Program is charged by the State of Indiana to provide for the acquisition and distribution of human bodies for use in health science education programs and research in Indiana. Research may include research conducted in collaboration with private companies. Human bodies used for teaching are obtained entirely through donations. Teaching and research programs at the Indiana University Schools of Medicine and Dentistry rely on these generous body donations to teach physicians, dentists, physical therapists, nurses and other allied health professionals An adequate number of donors allows us to maintain the high standards of health science education and health care that we currently practice in Indiana. Those who decide to bequeath their bodies to the health sciences make a significant contribution that benefits the quality of life and care for the living.