Why donate your body?
Thank you for expressing a wish to donate your body to the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews after your death. It is a most generous decision and we are conscious that it will not have been taken lightly; we are extremely grateful.
Anatomical knowledge is an important cornerstone of medical training. Knowledge of the structure of the body is essential to ensure patients have good medical care, and undergo safe clinical procedures. It is also fundamental in the interpretation of medical images.
Your donation will contribute to the education of the doctors of the future, current doctors undergoing postgraduate training, and other healthcare professionals.
If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact the Bequest Coordinator:
tel: 01334 463596 email: email@example.com
Click on the frequently asked questions below for more information:
- Return the top (white) copy to the Bequest Coordinator at the School of Medicine who will then enter your name on the Bequest Register.
- Keep one pink copy for your records.
- Give the other pink copy to your Next of Kin/Executor.
You must have either completed a Declaration of Bequest Form or put a signed and witnessed instruction in your Will for the School of Medicine to be able to consider accepting your body.
We strongly advise that you discuss this matter with your Next of Kin/Executor. If your Next of Kin and family are very much against the idea of you donating your body to the University of St Andrews, it may become difficult to proceed with the donation.
It is extremely important to let us know if:
• You change your name or address.
• Your Next of Kin changes their name or address.
The Bequest Coordinator may be contacted regarding enquiries on 01334 463596 during normal office hours (9. 00am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday), or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
After gathering all the necessary information, we will advise whether or not the School of Medicine is able to accept the donation. If the death occurs in hospital, the body will be held in the hospital mortuary while this decision is being made. If the death occurs at home or in a nursing home, it is advisable to turn off all heating and open the windows to keep the room as cool as possible. If the University is unable to accept the donation, the responsibility for arranging a funeral will rest with the Next of Kin/Executor.
At the time of death and after gathering all the necessary information, we shall advise your Next of Kin/Executor as quickly as possible whether or not we can accept your body. The following reasons may be a cause for refusal (this list is not exhaustive):
- The School of Medicine may already hold sufficient bodies to meet current requirements.
- Post mortem examination is required (or any other referral to the Procurator Fiscal).
- BMI out with the normal range (significantly underweight or overweight).
- Organ donation, if organs (other than the corneas) have been donated at the time of death.
- Recent major surgery or any open wounds such as ulcers or bedsores.
- Disseminated cancer (cancer which has spread to many areas of the body).
- Advanced oedema (swelling of the arms, legs or trunk).
- Some infectious diseases (e.g. hepatitis, septicaemia (infection of the blood), HIV, MRSA, C. difficile).
- Peripheral vascular disease (“extensive hardening of the arteries”).
- Certain types of chemotherapy.
The Next of Kin/Executor should register the death with the local Registrar (an appointment can be made by telephoning the Fife Registrar at 03451 550077). After the death has been registered, if possible, the Next of Kin/Executor should then arrange a convenient time to bring the forms received from the Registrar (Form 14 and the Full Extract of the Death Certificate) to the School of Medicine and also to complete other necessary documents.
- “Anatomical Examination” – this term describes the teaching of the structure and function of the human body to medical students, doctors, or healthcare professionals.
- “Research” – this term describes studies which aim to improve the understanding of the human body. These may in turn inform the development of new clinical procedures.
- “Education and training” – this term describes the training of healthcare professionals, usually those learning clinical techniques, as opposed to anatomical examination.
We do not normally conduct research into specific diseases or medical conditions. It may be useful to take digital images of parts of your body for teaching, training or research purposes. If you consent to this, you will not be identifiable in these images. If you do not wish to consent to the use of such images you may indicate this on the Declaration of Bequest Form.
We will not contact your Next of Kin/Executor regarding your burial or cremation, unless a request has been made for your ashes to be returned. In these circumstances we will contact them to inform them when they can collect your ashes from Kirkcaldy Crematorium.