Anatomical Donation Program
University of California

Each year, nearly a thousand Californians make extraordinary gifts to the University by donating their bodies, or a loved one's body, to support the education of health professionals and to further scientific research.

The University recognizes the value and importance of anatomical donations and is committed to ensuring that they are treated with great care and respect.

Anatomical donations may be studied immediately or may be preserved for use at a later date in anatomical preparations, including dissections and skeletal preparations.

As you consider the option of donating your body to science, know that the need is great and your gift will be honored and valued. Your donation will play a critical role in helping students master the complex anatomy of the human body and will provide scientists with essential tools that benefit communities now and in the future.


Brandi Schmitt, MS
Director, Anatomical Services
University of California
Office of the President
Health Sciences and Services
1111 Franklin St., 11th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 287- 3810

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does one donate to the University of California?

Contact the program nearest you and request a registration packet. Complete the packet, return it to the program and a donor card will be mailed to you.

Are there any circumstances where a donation may be refused?

Some medical conditions, such as contagious diseases and extreme emaciation or obesity, can render a body unacceptable for scientific study. Additionally, certain circumstances of death may preclude donation. A final decision can only be made at the time of death. Therefore, it is important that a survivor knows of these possibilities and is aware of the donor's alternate disposition plans.

What will a donated body be used for?

Donations are integral to a wide range of educational, research, and clinical pursuits, including gross anatomy instruction and neurological, anatomical and physiological research. Some anatomical materials are used for surgical procedural training, allied health education, forensic research and training, mortuary science education, and the development and testing of new medical devices.

Can a donation be rescinded if the donor changes their mind?

A donor can rescind a donation in writing at any time prior to death. After death, the donation cannot be revoked by survivors, nor can they change any term or condition of the donation.

Is any payment received when a body is donated?

No payment may be made in connection with a body donation. This is the policy of the University of California, set in accordance with State and Federal law.

What is the final disposition of a body donated to the University of California?

After studies are completed, donations are typically cremated and the remains are scattered at sea. Cremated remains are not returned for private disposition. The University reserves the right to change the terms of disposition to any other legal method of disposition without notice to the

Is a memorial service conducted?

Yes. Each program assists its medical students in planning an annual memorial service to honor donors.

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Copyright University of California 2007