Anatomical Donations

The Gift of Knowledge

Whole body donation is a generous gift of knowledge. It is the finest source of education for medical students, far better than any textbook or computer. For medical professionals, nothing is equivalent to the human body in providing an essential and thorough understanding of anatomy. Your gift will help to advance medical training and research, and in turn, benefit your children, grandchildren, and people for many generations to come.

How do I donate?

Those interested in whole body donation can sign up with one of the medical schools directly or request more information through AMSNY. To request more information from AMSNY, you will need to fill out the donation form and send it back to us via email, regular mail, or fax. AMSNY or a member institution will contact you within 2-3 weeks once it is received. We will discuss any questions or concerns you may have and help you choose a medical school. We will also give you details on what happens next.

Next, you will receive additional paperwork in the mail. Fill it out and follow the instructions. Because each school handles whole body donations slightly differently, the exact process will depend on which institution you’ve selected (or that AMSNY has paired you with). For more specific information, please contact the school directly or learn more by visiting their anatomical program webpage (See links below).

Be sure to leave a copy with a relative, friend, or lawyer, and return a copy to the medical school. Fill out the donor card you will receive and keep it with you. Also, you should discuss your wishes with your healthcare providers, friends, and family, so that they are aware of your generous decision. After you pass, someone will need to notify the medical school that you enrolled with. The school will follow up with your family member, friend, or the person you identified on your paperwork, in order to be certain that the information you provided is still accurate.

What is the Final Disposition?

You and the medical school of your choice will decide the details for final disposition. Options for final disposition vary slightly between medical schools, but generally begin with cremation as soon as studies are completed. According to prior agreement with you or your next of kin, the cremated remains can be returned to the family for burial in a family plot. Alternatively, the school can bury remains in graves owned by the institution. Some schools offer scattering of the ashes over water in the maritime tradition. For more details on final disposition, visit the school’s page or contact their program directly.

Your Generous Gift of Knowledge

Each anatomical donation helps to ensure the future of high quality medical care and innovative research. The gratitude expressed by the medical profession to each donor cannot be over-emphasized.

To obtain further information about anatomical donations, please contact: Mairin Cahill at mairincahill@amsny.org