Each year, it is estimated that 20,000 people donate their bodies to science. While many people think about making organ donations, fewer realize that whole-body donation is also an option. If you are searching online for whole body donation near me in Arizona, you likely have questions. Here are the answers to the questions you may have about donating a body to science.
What Is Whole Body Donation?
Whole-body donation makes the body available for medical research and training after death. Tissue is crucial for medical researchers and doctors, but there is a significant shortage of human tissue. A whole body donation helps with education, training, and advancing medical technology.
Why Donate Your Body to Science?
Medical researchers use donated bodies to discover better ways to treat a broad range of conditions and illnesses, including types of cancer, liver disease, and diabetes. This research can lead to the development of new drugs and medical devices, which would otherwise be impossible.
Who Handles Whole Body Donations in Arizona?
United Tissue Network (UTN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that handles whole-body donations in Arizona. UTN is registered with the state and accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). The AATB inspects and evaluates organization to make sure they meet the highest ethical standards and treats families with respect. This accreditation also ensures that your donation will be placed with legitimate research and education programs.
Unlike some for-profit programs, UTN does not make money from donations.
Who Pays for Whole Body Donations?
When you make a whole-body donation to UTN, UTN pays for the transportation of the body to a research facility and for cremation. UTN also provides two copies of the death certificate at no cost.
Families can rest assured that their loved one’s body will be treated respectfully and that they will be relieved of much of the financial burden. While helping contribute to medical science, UTN pays for the cost of cremation, which can run anywhere from $800 to $2,000 for families in Arizona.
Will We Get the Remains Back?
Yes. After research has concluded, UTN will arrange for the body to be cremated and deliver the remains to the family.
What Are the Criteria for Donations?
UTN accepts a broader range of whole-body donations than many other facilities, including:
- Upper ages
Unless someone has a history of a communicable disease such as HIV or hepatitis, most whole-body donations will be accepted. UTN collects the medical history of the potential donor and may test the body before sending it to a medical group for research or training. This helps ensure that the professionals receiving the donation are safe and that the donation is a fit for their research.
How Do You Donate a Body to Science?
You can pledge to make a whole body donation in Arizona upon your death or register a loved one.
You can make this important gift by providing information about yourself with a pledge to make your body available upon your death. Once you are accepted into the program, UTN will ensure your wishes are met.
Register a Loved One
You can also register a loved one or a patient. UTN follows protocols established by the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. You’ll be contacted by a Donation Coordinator to complete the process and review medical history confidentially. Many nursing homes and hospice centers will facilitate the process for you when patients are near the end of life.
In either case, you can also call United Tissue Network at 877-738-6111 to learn more about the process.
Can We Still Have a Funeral?
Many donors still conduct memorial services or life celebrations to honor their loved ones and allow friends and family to pay their respects. Since all whole body donations are cremated, a traditional funeral with a viewing is not possible, however. Any costs for funeral arrangements are at the discretion of the family.
Do You Protect the Identity of Donations?
UTN takes proactive measures to protect the confidentiality of both donors and researchers or educators. To maintain strict confidentiality, all donors are assigned a unique identification number that is used for all communication except with donor families.
If you have more questions or would like to discuss your options, contact United Tissue Network today at 877-738-6111 or learn more about whole body donation in Arizona.