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. This includes Portland, Eugene, Albany, Bend, Corvallis, Springfield, and Roseburg.

If I enroll with Oregon Body Gift, are there any steps I should take?

We request that you please let your loved ones know about your desire to donate your body to science and give them our phone number. This is so that they can contact our organization after death occurs to start the donation process as soon as possible.

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 exclusion criteria for body donation to Oregon Body Gift?

Oregon Body Gift makes every effort to accept donations. However, to ensure the safety of our staff during the study of neurological tissue, we are unable to accept donations from individuals with active infections, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tuberculosis, and HIV, or prion diseases like Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Also, due to current equipment limitations, we are unable to accept new whole body donations from individuals weighing over 300 pounds. 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.

How long after death are cases able to be accepted?

Oregon Body Gift is usually able to accept donations up to 2 days after death. Beyond this timeframe, the tissue integrity may be compromised, which could impact our ability to effectively conduct research. If a death occurs and a donation is being considered, please contact us as soon as possible so we can work with you to facilitate the donation process.

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.