Not everyone can afford a nice memorial service, funeral, and burial. Census data shows that nearly 38 million people in the U.S. fall below the poverty line, and another 90 million people are still considered poor. At the same time, only about half of families have life insurance to help cover costs when a loved one dies.
Families are already dealing with a family member’s passing and have to come to terms with the costs. For many, the death of a loved one provides a significant financial burden.
Body Donation After Death Provides Financial Relief
When discussing options for families, funeral homes can offer financial relief with body donations. United Tissues Network (UTN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that coordinates body donations in Arizona and Florida.
When families make a body donation after death to UTN for scientific and medical research purposes, UTN pays the cost of transport, ensuring the body goes to an accredited research or medical facility, and also pays for cremation.
By shifting 100% of these costs to UTN, families can get free cremation along with copies of certified death certificates and their loved one’s remains. Families also gain the knowledge that their family member’s body will be used to advance medical science.
By offering body donation as an option, funeral directors can provide comfort and help reduce the financial burden on families. Families can save an average of $1,400 through United Tissue Networks’ body donation program. This lowers costs for families, who may opt to spend their money instead on memorial services or burial of remains through your funeral home for a potential revenue increase.
UTN can provide your funeral home with all the information you need and guide you through the process so you can present options to your clients.
Eligibility for Body Donations
As a nonprofit organization, UTN has more latitude in the donations it can accept. For example, many for-profit programs will not accept donations from those of advanced ages or clients with cancer or other diseases. UTN can accept donations in Arizona or Florida from adults age 18 or older, including upper ages or those presenting with cancer or dementia. The only condition that will automatically disqualify potential donors is having a history of communicable diseases, such as HIV or hepatitis.
Prior to acceptance into the body donation program, UTN will collect the medical-social histories of clients along with the required consent forms. With referrals from funeral homes, most approvals can be determined within an hour. UTN accepts donors up to seven days after the date of death.
Once a body is accepted for the program, United Tissue Network handles all expenses, including:
- Receiving the body from the funeral home
- Transferring the body to a UTN facility
- Providing families with two certified death certificates (in Arizona)
- Cremating the remains
After cremation, UTN will contact the family to pick up the remains at a local facility, or UTN will pay to deliver the remains to the funeral home or their home.
UTN professionals may also perform basic tests on the bodies before transferring them to medical groups. This assures the researchers that work with the bodies are safe and that donations will serve their intended purpose for research, testing, or training.
Contact United Tissue Network for Body Donation After Death
By offering body donation as an option for low-income families or those in need, you can provide some financial relief while also providing comfort, knowing that their loved one’s remains will help advance scientific and medical research.
UTN is the only nonprofit agency for body donations in Arizona and Florida, providing services to 12,000 families since its inception in 2009. UTN is accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks and ensures that body donations are treated with the highest standards of excellence to demonstrate proper respect and dignity.
You can read more about UTN’s code of ethics and how we work to help individuals leave a powerful legacy for their loved ones with body donation.
Funeral directors and funeral service workers who would like to know about United Tissue Network and body donation after death can contact United Tissue Network in Arizona or Florida. A donor services coordinator is available 24 hours a day at (877) 738-6111 to answer all of your questions.