Frequently asked questions about donating a body to science.

How do I get registered as an LifeQuest Anatomical donor?

You may either call 866-799-2300 or request our LifeQuest Anatomical registration materials. Your information and privacy is of the utmost importance to us, and all records are kept strictly confidential.

Should I discuss body donation with my family, and if so, how?

Yes, one of the most important first steps in the donation process is an open discussion with your family. We understand this is a difficult time, and that this is a difficult discussion. Let us assure you that these decisions will need to be made, either prior to death or very soon after death. In most cases the caregiver, hospital, hospice, or nursing home will request this information in order to assist the family with the final arrangements. The disposition of the deceased will need to be arranged, and having these decisions made by the family and the next of kin is critical to making the donation possible. If we can be of any service to you at this time, or any other point in the process, please do not hesitate to call us at 866-799-2300. Our phones are answered by caring, courteous and dedicated professionals ready to support you and your family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I carry an ID with organ donor status. How does this work with organ donation?

It is quite common for many of us to carry in our wallets an ID or drivers license with the organ donor designation. There are distinct differences between organ donation and whole body donation. Again, the most important step in the process is a discussion with your family or next of kin. The better informed your family is, the better prepared we can be to carry out your wishes to donate your body to science. Agencies like LifeQuest Anatomical, responsible for procurement of tissue, cannot do so without the permission of the family. This means signed consent forms completed by the family and/or the next of kin of the donor. The order of next of kin is as follows: 1. spouse, 2. adult children, 3. parent(s), 4. adult siblings (brother and or sister), 5. legal representative or guardian. LifeQuest Anatomical provides a Donor ID card with registration materials. While carrying a donor ID card identifies you as a donor, signed informed consent forms authorized by the prospective donor and the legal next of kin are still necessary to make the donation possible. There are circumstances under which organ donation may not prohibit body donation. In order to collect the information we need to advise you of eligibility, we ask that you contact us.

Who does body donation benefit?

Body donation benefits everyone. Humanity benefits. Doctors and surgeons benefit. Our loved ones, friends and neighbors all benefit. Physicians take the experience gained from the studies LifeQuest Anatomical supports, and improve surgical outcomes, lowering mortality rates and ultimately improving the quality of life for everyone.

Do I qualify?

Almost everyone can donate their body to science. Most illnesses and past surgeries are accepted. A detailed medical history detailing surgeries, illnesses and treatments will enable our staff to determine eligibility. This can be accomplished either over the phone or by email on our contact us page.

The screening process LifeQuest Anatomical utilizes to assure suitability of the donation and placement with appropriate areas of medical study are as follows:

  • Donor must weigh more than 100 pounds and no more than 250 pounds. Height and weight parameters should be discussed with the family as these parameters cannot account for every scenario.
  • Donor must not have HIV 1/2, AIDS or Hepatitis B or C.
  • Donor cannot have fluid retention (edema) in the abdomen. If edema is in the extremities (hands and feet or legs and arms) this needs to be discussed with our staff. Please contact us.
  • If the donor died as a result of extensive trauma to the body such as: suicide, homicide, drowning, burn victim or auto or industrial accident we would not be able to place the donor. A discussion with our staff may be necessary to determine if we can or cannot accept the donation.
  • Cannot accept or place individuals with moderate to severe jaundice or kidney failure.
  • Cannot accept or place individuals with MRSA or any viral/bacterial infection for which the donor was placed in isolation.
  • In case of numerous major surgeries, please contact us and a representative will assist you and advise if donation is possible.

Where are the medical programs LifeQuest Anatomical supports held?

The medical studies all LifeQuest Anatomical donors are matched up with are performed in secure medical and or academic facilities such as medical schools, teaching hospitals and research institutions. The facilities LifeQuest Anatomical provides also always ensure the safety of the participants and the respectful and dignified treatment of the donor.

Would organ transplant donation interfere with body donation?

Organ donation is carried out in hospitals and medical centers. Each state has protocols for organ donation and as such organ donation is deemed a priority over body donation to science. Again, we recommend the family discuss organ donation as permission for organ donation is needed in order for the transplant donation to occur. Donation for transplant would prohibit body donation. Because there are variations on what organs are donated and this could impact eligibility, we ask that you contact us to discuss the specific details.

Can you accept an individual that has undergone an autopsy?

There are some instances in which we can accept an autopsy case. In order to better serve you and your family we ask that you contact us to discuss this.

What about having a funeral?

A traditional funeral is not possible with body donation. However, many options exist and a LifeQuest Anatomical representative can assist you by providing information. Among the options are memorial services without the cremated remains, or cremation memorials once the cremated remains are returned to the family in 30-45 days. Please contact us with questions or for more information.

When must I decide to donate?

The decision to donate can be made at any time by the individual wishing to donate, or their next of kin. The decision to donate can be made as part of your plans for the future. The decision most often is made at the time of need in the case of a terminally ill individual, or after an individual has passed away and the family begins to research their options. In either case the most important step is to discuss body donation with your family and next of kin. LifeQuest Anatomical assures every step of the process is in accordance with the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.

Who is able to consent?

LifeQuest Anatomical requires signed informed consent forms from the donor and/or the legal next of kin in accordance with state and federal laws. Donations are carried out in accordance with the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act and uphold the individual's right to donate by enforcing the right to donate after death. If the individual desiring donation passes away prior to signing consent forms for donation, only the legal next of kin has the right to authorize the donation. The order of next of kin is as follows: 1. spouse, 2. adult children, 3. parent(s), 4. adult siblings (brother and or sister), 5. legal representative or guardian.

What about the cost to my family?

All costs for donation including transportation* and the cremation are covered by LifeQuest Anatomical. LifeQuest Anatomical will provide three (2) copies of certified death certificates to the family at no charge. If the family requires more than the three (2) copies LifeQuest Anatomical provides to the local county office so the family can order more if needed.

* If our transportation cost exceeds $1500, we are unable to accept the donation. If this situation is anticipated, we will contact you with the option to pay the additional expense to proceed with the donation.

How does LifeQuest Anatomical handle confidentiality?

LifeQuest Anatomical respects and warrants the security of your personal information. Your confidentiality is of the utmost importance to us and LifeQuest Anatomical maintains the program in strict accordance with Title 45 Public Welfare, Part 46 Protection of Human Subjects of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. Internally, and upon arrival into the donor program, each donor is assigned a donor identification number. This ensures that all communications with educators and researchers and all documentation corresponding to each donor is protected and confidentiality is assured. Utilizing a highly secured means, LifeQuest Anatomical is able to track each donor throughout their journey in the support of medical science, while at the same time protecting their identity and the identity of the educators and researchers whose work is enabled through the donor's gift. To view our Privacy Policy click here.

Do you sell body parts and how do you charge researchers or educators for your services?

LifeQuest Anatomical matches tissue only with qualified end users and prohibits tissue brokering or third party transfer of tissue. LifeQuest Anatomical believes that a body donation is a gift and honors each gift with utmost respect and humility. LifeQuest Anatomical charges reasonable fees associated with the expense of providing services for the donor and their family to the medical programs LifeQuest Anatomical supports. LifeQuest Anatomical adheres to the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984, which prohibits the buying and or selling of human organs and tissue. As a highly ethical institution with strong, long-standing ties to the medical community, the fees LifeQuest Anatomical charges are for: transportation, removal from place of death, processing, preservation, cremation, and care of each donor. Educators and researchers wishing to work with LifeQuest Anatomical must meet stringent standards and must also comply with all local, state and federal laws governing the use of human tissue.

Can I specify what areas of medicine I wish to support if a specific disease causes death?

While reasonable efforts are made, LifeQuest Anatomical cannot guarantee the placement of a donor with a specific study for a specific disease. Reasonable efforts are made to match donors with appropriate areas of medical study. However, the timing of a donor's death, the duration and timing of a specific study and the donor's medical history are all factors that ultimately determine what areas of medical science the donor will support. No guarantees are made as to the outcome or results achieved by any educational or research function supported by any LifeQuest Anatomical donor.

What about Veteran's and or Social Security benefits?

A LifeQuest Anatomical representative will work with your family through a local representative to advise you on any matters pertaining to social security and or veterans benefits.

Can you explain your corporate status?

LifeQuest Anatomical is an incorporated taxable organization paying federal and state taxes. LifeQuest Anatomical serves the medical community by offering free services for the donor and the donor family, who by way of legal consent knowingly supports medical science. The medical community to which donations are matched is made up of both private (for profit) and public (non-profit)institutions. Whether a hospital, university, medical center or research institution, the choice of for or non-profit is not indicative of the level of integrity or professionalism that defines that organization.

Are there any standards that LifeQuest Anatomical complies with?

LifeQuest Anatomical complies with all local, state and federal laws for the use and disposition of human tissue. Our parent company Innovations in Medical Education and Training (IMET) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to train physicians on the newest technologies based in minimally invasive surgical techniques. As such, we are the only organization of its kind with many of the world's best known surgeons and physician faculty, providing the very best training in advanced surgical techniques.

Can I donate if I have cancer or any other kind of disease like Lupus?

Non-infectious diseases usually pose no threat to donation. Diseases like cancer and lupus do not prohibit donation. Each case should be addressed with a LifeQest Anatomical representative. A LifeQuest Anatomical representative will review your medical history and advise you if donation is possible. Please contact us.