Medical Schools Announce: No More Unclaimed Bodies Accepted from NYC Medical Examiner


Contact: Anat Gerstein, 718-793-2211 x100

Jaime Williams, 718-793-2211 x107

Medical Schools Announce: No More Unclaimed Bodies Accepted from NYC Medical Examiner

All Schools Will Feature Donor Programs, Work to Boost Donations to Train Future Doctors to be the Best, Meet New York’s Growing Physician Shortage, and Continue to Advance Groundbreaking Research Projects

(New York, NY) – Today, the Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY), in partnership with all eight medical schools based in New York City, announced that schools will no longer accept unclaimed bodies from the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) and will not be recommending a gubernatorial veto on S4430/A6372-A. Instead, all schools will host their own donor programs and promote those programs so that they can continue to train students to become doctors and continue to support research that leads to medical breakthroughs. New York based medical schools – there are 16 across the state – train more doctors than any other state in the nation.

“Donating your body to science is the ultimate gift a person can make. We can’t train future doctors without these donations and, in many cases, we can’t make medical discoveries that lead to cures and life improvements without them,” said Jo Wiederhorn, president, AMSNY.

The OCME began providing New York City schools with a small number of unclaimed bodies approximately 40 years ago due to a shortage of donors for medical education and research. However, due to practices at the OCME, no bodies have been accessed by schools since 2014. In 2014 only 20 bodies, of the 800 needed throughout the state for education and research, were provided by the OCME. To make up for the small shortfall, schools are boosting their donor programs.

Today, 14 of the 16 schools based in New York State have donor programs. The two remaining schools –CUNY College of Medicine and Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine – have both begun developing donor programs. School-based donor programs are licensed and regulated by New York State and all schools have a common standard for how bodies are treated.