Oregon Body Gift

A Non-Profit Organization

Picture of person looking at a waterfall, photo by David Kovalenko, via Unsplash

About our Human Anatomical Donation Program

These are some of the frequently asked questions that prospective donors and their family members have about our whole body anatomical donation program.

What is body donation?

Body donation is when a person consents to donate their body after death for medical research and education. It is a selfless act that helps advance science and medicine.

Who can choose to donate their body?

Any adult can choose to donate their body by filling out our consent form to register. The consent needs to be given by the person themselves or their next of kin who is authorized to provide consent according to state law. In Oregon, the relevant statute for determining next of kin authorization is ORS 97.965.

Do you offer free cremation?

Yes, for those who are looking for cheap or affordable cremations in Oregon, and are also interested in donating their body to science, we offer free cremation alongside body donation in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding communities within approximately 200 miles.

What locations does Oregon Body Gift accept donations?

Whole body donations are accepted within approximately 200 miles of Salem, including areas in both Washington and Oregon. This includes Portland, Eugene, Albany, Bend, Corvallis, Springfield, Roseburg, Olympia, Tacoma, and Vancouver, WA.

If I donate my body to Oregon Body Gift, will there any cost to me or my family?

No, if a body is donated to Oregon Body Gift, then the entire required process, including transport, cremation, and return of partial cremated remains if requested, is entirely free of charge. If the death occurs beyond the range of areas that we accept, Oregon Body Gift may be unable to accept the donation, or a small transport fee may apply if people are still interested in donating.

Can I change my mind after I have consented to body donation?

Yes, you maintain the right to rescind this consent at any time prior to the donation procedure by notifying Oregon Body Gift in writing.

How does Oregon Body Gift maintain confidentiality?

We strictly adhere to confidentiality guidelines for all protected health information. We remove any individually identifying data before sharing any biomedical data or tissue with research institutions, unless specific consent is given for this.

Does Oregon Body Gift determine the cause of death for donors?

No, Oregon Body Gift does not perform any clinical examinations with the goal of determining the cause of death. We recommend for families to consult with medical professionals to ascertain this information.

How does the body donation process contribute to scientific research?

Your generous gift supports scientific studies that can lead to medical advancements. Primarily, the tissue will be used as a part of a "brain bank" to help develop better methods for studying the brain and help identify the causes of neurobiologic disorders. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop better medical treatments and aid future generations.

Are there any pre-specified exclusion criteria for body donation to Oregon Body Gift?

Oregon Body Gift makes every effort to accept donations, and the vast majority of people are eligible donors. However, to ensure the safety of our staff during the study of neurological tissue, we are unable to accept donations from individuals with uncommon active central nervous system infections, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tuberculosis, and HIV, or prion diseases like Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. If you have any concerns about eligibility, please contact us to discuss your specific situation. We are committed to treating all donors with the utmost respect and dignity, regardless of individual circumstances.

Will my body be treated with respect?

Yes, all donors receive the utmost respect, in strict adherence to the highest ethical principles.

What is the regulatory oversight for Oregon Body Gift?

Oregon Body Gift is licensed as a Nontransplant Anatomical Research Recovery Organization (NARRO) in the state of Oregon.

Who can I contact with questions?

Please contact us with any questions about the donation process. We are happy to explain further.