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FAQ: Willed Body Program

Must I inform my relatives of my decision to donate my body? No, but it is a very good idea to do so because their understanding and cooperation are essential in seeing that your wishes are carried out and that we are notified in a timely manner.

How will my body be treated and for what purpose will it be used? Bodies are used under the oversight of the State Anatomical Board. All users must treat bodies with the utmost respect and keep them under secure conditions. Bodies are used to educate and train persons in the health professions or surgical specialties, such as students and residents in the surgical specialties, private practice physicians for formal and informal continuing education or training, and University Faculty and staff. Bodies may also be used for research if needed for that purpose. Occasionally bodies will be sent to programs in other states.

Who may serve as witnesses to my donation? Anyone 18 years of age or older may serve as a witness, at least one of whom must be a disinterested witness.

Does age, disease, or other factors make the body unacceptable? There is no upper age limit for whole body donation; generally we do not accept infants and children. Certain diseases, obesity, autopsy, or decomposition may render the body unacceptable for use in our programs. The diseases that will render the body unacceptable are: HIV, Hepatitis A, B, or C, Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease, KURU, TB, or any infectious/contagious disease that may pose a risk to the user.

What happens to my body when you have finished your studies? In all cases, upon completion of our studies, bodies are cremated in a crematory approved by the State Anatomical Board. If the body is sent out of state, the body will be cremated in that state and the cremains returned to the Willed Body Program. The cremains may be returned to survivors for private disposition, scattered by the University on University property, or included in a group interment.

Does this body donation automatically take care of organ and tissue donation for transplantation? No, that must be accomplished as a separate act by contacting one of the organizations listed below. Every attempt will be made to work with these organizations to see that your wishes are carried out, but that is not always possible. Neither the OU Health Sciences Center nor the Anatomical Board can be responsible for accepting or coordinating such donations. Please note that we cannot accept a body if an organ, brain, skin or bone is donated to another organization (unless specifically approved by the Director of the Willed Body Program). For information on eye or organ donations, please contact:

Eye Donations:
Lion's Eye Bank
3840 Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City OK 73105
(405) 557-1393

Organ Donations:
LifeShare Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma 1-800-241-4483

May my survivors or I make a monetary donation to the Willed Body Program?
Yes. The costs associated with operating this donor program are enormous. The donation program benefits many health education institutions and, of course, it benefits all of us. To help offset the cost of operating this program, you may make a monetary donation at any time, including at the time of death, and survivors and friends may make donations in your memory. Such donations should designate the Willed Body Program as the recipient. Donations should be payable to the OU Foundation and mailed to the address listed below.

Please make donations payable to the OU Foundation and mail it to:

Willed Body Program
BSEB 138
PO Box 26901
Oklahoma City OK 73126-0901.