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Instructions for Donors

The following instructions and suggestions have been assembled to assist those individuals and the families of individuals who wish to donate their bodies for education, training, and/or research purposes, as described in the Declaration of Donation.

Additional Screening Criteria

To receive donation forms, call (405) 271-2424, ext. 46295.

  1. A Declaration of Donation form should be completed in duplicate and in the presence of two witnesses. A brief medical history is helpful but is not required. Return one Declaration of Donation form and the medical history (if available) to the following address (please keep a copy for your records):

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Willed Body Program

P.O. Box 26901
Oklahoma City, OK 73126-0901
(405) 271-2424, ext. 0

  1. A wallet size identification card will be sent to you when we receive your completed form. The card indicates your intent to donate your body and should be completed and carried at all times.
  2. Inform your family and friends of your plans to donate your body. Their understanding and support of your plans are needed.
  3. If you live outside the Oklahoma City or Tulsa areas, it could be beneficial to discuss your plans with your local funeral director because his/her services may be needed (THE FUNERAL HOMES SHOULD CONTACT THE WILLED BODY PROGRAM FOR INSTRUCTIONS.)   
  4. WHEN DEATH OCCURS: The Willed Body Program (WBP) should be contacted immediately at one of the following numbers: Weekdays (405) 271-2424, ext. 0; evenings or weekends, (405) 271-2424, ext. 46290, for referral to the mortuary service.  Arrangements will be made to pick up the body. If death occurs outside the Oklahoma City or Tulsa areas, a local funeral home may need to pick up the body, but the WBP will make those arrangements at the time. The funeral home should contact the WBP concerning embalming instructions and payment limits.  The WBP will transport the body to Oklahoma City. We do not accept donors if death occurs in another state. We suggest that the body be donated in the state where death occurs.
  5. OBITUARY:  Survivors must assume the responsibility for and pay to have the obituary placed in the newspaper.  If needed, our program will offer assistance to verify the death for obituaries posted in local newspapers.
  6. DEATH CERTIFICATES: The death certificate is filed with the State or County Health Department by the funeral home or embalming service handling the case for the WBP (it often takes up to ten working days to obtain the necessary information and signatures for the death certificate). The WBP does not provide copies of death certificates. Upon death, the WBP will supply families with the form needed to purchase certified copies from the State Health Department. The telephone number for the State Health Department's Vital Records Division is (405) 271-4040.
  7. FUNERAL:  Neither visitation nor viewing is allowed through the WBP. The family may wish to have a private memorial service without the body present. 
  8. A BODY CANNOT BE ACCEPTED UNLESS SPECIFICALLY APPROVED BY THE WBP IN ADVANCE IF THE DECEASED: is obese; had/has Hepatitis A, B, C or TB; is HIV positive, has AIDS, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease or Kuru; has any other highly contagious/infectious disease which would be a threat to the users; has been autopsied; is decomposing and/or has bed sores; has amputations; has recent unhealed surgeries or open wounds; if organs, skin, brain and/or bone have been donated to another program; or if aspirated by a funeral home prior to embalming. IF THERE IS NOT A NEED FOR THE BODY AT THE TIME OF DEATH, THE BODY MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED.
  9. CREMATION:  The body is kept up to two years on average. At the completion of WBP use, the body is cremated. The cremains can be returned to survivors, scattered by the WBP on University property, or included in a group interment by the WBP. Please indicate your wishes on the back of the Declaration of Donation form.
  10. We do not study individual illnesses, so no reports regarding cause of death or related issues will be provided to the donor’s family.
  11. The Declaration of Donation does not represent a contract; it is a declaration of your wishes and may be changed or revoked at any time.
  12. Questions concerning this program may be directed to the WBP at the address and telephone number listed above.