Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for considering whole body donation.  We truly consider each of our donors a gift and worthy of the utmost respect for their noble service and act of generosity.  

If you have additional questions or would like more clarity on any part of our process  please contact us during regular business hours.

Who can donate their body to science?

Almost every one can donate their body to The Experience Anatomy Foundation. Exclusions include some contagious diseases and size parameters.

Can you be a whole-body donor and an organ donor?

Yes! Organ donation is a separate registry from whole-body donation. We urge individuals and families to consider organ donation first, as it may save or improve the life of someone else. Whole-body donation always comes second to organ donation. Registering as an organ donor does not register you as a whole body donor.

Will my acceptance into the donor program be guaranteed once registered?

Acceptance into the donation program cannot be guaranteed until time of death and is based on donation criteria being met. In the event you do not meet the donation criteria at the time of death, your loved ones will then be responsible for making arrangements for burial or cremation. Some families plan alternative arrangements to help ensure your wishes are met regardless of circumstances.

What is the cost to my family?

There is no cost to the family if your donation is accepted. The Experience Anatomy Foundation pays for all costs associated with donation. This includes transportation from the place of death, filing the death certificate, as well as cremation and return of remains once the anatomical study and/or research process is complete.

Can my loved ones still plan a memorial?

Yes. Your loved ones can plan a memorial service separate from your donation. Many families choose to have a memorial service at the time of passing while others choose to wait until remains are returned. Because of the time restrictions associated with whole-body donation, it is not possible to have the donor’s body present for a traditional funeral service. Your loved ones will be responsible for costs associated with any memorial or funeral services.

Will my life insurance cover any funeral costs if I donate my body?

Contact your insurance carrier directly for specific policy coverages.

Can donor registration occur after death?

Yes. Registration can be completed at the time of death by a legal authorizing party as described in the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. Donation criteria must be met and acceptance is not guaranteed. Completed donor registration forms must be returned to

How soon after death should the Experience Anatomy Foundation be contacted?

Immediate notification is imperative so that proper care may be taken. Please call 704-910-6022 if death is imminent or has just occurred. Someone is available 24/7, including weekends and holidays.

For all other inquiries please contact us during regular business hours.

Who is responsible for donor removal and transportation to the Foundation?

After being notified of a death – and once the donation has been accepted and confirmed – the Experience Anatomy Foundation will make proper arrangements for transport. Transportation will be carried out by the Foundation directly or through one of our trusted partners.

What happens to the donor once in receipt of the Experience Anatomy Foundation?

Donors accepted by the Experience Anatomy Foundation participate in research and educational programs with our sister company, Experience Anatomy. These programs include, but are not limited to, researching the latest surgical techniques and medical devices as well as life-saving skills training and healthcare education. 

Donor participation may involve dissection and/or anatomical disarticulation or segmentation (e.g. removal of extremities), preservation, photography/imaging, and/or distribution to Experience Anatomy approved entities. 

All donor activities and procedures are carried out in the name of research and education. Donors are treated with the utmost dignity and respect throughout our process. Once study is complete, donors are cremated and promptly returned to their designee.

Can I decide how my donation will be used?

The Experience Anatomy Foundation will make every effort to match your donation to your areas of expressed interest. However, your time of death will dictate what options are available and specific requests may not be accommodated.

Who utilizes donor tissue through the Experience Anatomy Foundation?

The Experience Anatomy Foundation is the nonprofit sister company to Experience Anatomy. Experience Anatomy facilitates training and utilizes human tissue across numerous industries, including physician, resident, and fellowship training; medical device industries; patient education; healthcare workforces, such as massage and physical therapy; educators and students; first responders; and military medics. 

Experience Anatomy and the Experience Anatomy Foundation are very deliberate when choosing our program partners. We thoroughly vet every program provider and maintain a chain of custody to make sure donors are treated with respect, care and dignity. 

Does the Foundation charge researchers, medical professionals, and educational institutions to study donated bodies?

No. Human tissue has no monetary value; it is intrinsically priceless and cannot be bought, sold or owned. We adhere to all federal and state legal requirements related to our donation identification and coordination services. 

The Experience Anatomy Foundation works hand-in-hand with our sister company Experience Anatomy, a for-profit anatomical education company. Fees associated with program participation cover the preparation, care, maintenance, transportation, and disposition of donors, and the cost of instruction. Experience Anatomy does not charge program participants for use of donations.

When will the death certificate be received?

The Experience Anatomy Foundation will work with the funeral home to file the death certificate. This process usually takes four to six weeks, depending on the circumstances.

Can cremated remains be returned, and how long does it take?

Yes, donor cremains will be returned to the designated person indicated at the time of donor registration. Donors stay with the Experience Anatomy Foundation for up to 24 months, but are often returned within six months or less. 

Please note that cremated remains may not include all of the tissues that have been retrieved from medical education and research programs. These will be appropriately medically incinerated.

What if there is not a designee named to return remains?

If there is not a designee appointed at the time of death by the donor or by the legal authorizing party, the donor’s cremated remains will be stored at the Experience Anatomy Foundation until our annual donor memorial, during which there will be a ceremony of appreciation and the ashes will be scattered. Donors and legal authorizing persons may also choose to have the donor’s remains scattered by checking the appropriate box on the Designation of Remains form.

What if the designee changes their mind about what to do with the remains?

Remains will be returned to the named designee unless there is a written statement by the designee requesting a change. If the designee initially chose not to have remains returned, they can reclaim remains so long as they are still in the custody of the Experience Anatomy Foundation, i.e. prior to our annual memorial and ash scattering ceremony.

What can I do to prepare for my death and donation?

We have created a comprehensive list of Advanced Care Planning and Bereavement  Resources that may prove useful to you and your family as you prepare for end-of-life care and death. 

In anticipation of your donation, complete the Donor Packet and talk with your loved ones about your wish to participate in whole-body donation. It is important that a medical representative, family member, or authorized party call 704-910-6022 immediately after your passing. Someone is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including weekends and holidays. 

Have Additional Questions?

Get In Touch