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Leaving your body to medical science
The service I received could not be faulted in any way. The website was easy to follow through and I had help with one point to make sure I understood how I had phrased something and that I was happy with what it meant. I was given time to go back to my son and daughter and to confirm this point with them before my will was completed and sent to me. The whole process was very easy and the staff were extremely helpful. Thank you
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Home / Making a Will / Creating your Will / Leaving your body to medical science

Why leave my body to medical science?

Human bodies are used to teach medical students about the structure and workings of the human body and to train surgeons and other healthcare professionals.

The term “Anatomical examination and research” is used to describe the macroscopic examination by dissection for the purposes of teaching or studying or researching the whole structure of the human body.

How can I arrange for my body to donated to medical science?

If you want to donate your body for anatomical examination and research ideally you should make the arrangements before you die as it is normally necessary for a donor to give their consent.

If the donor has died then his or her body can only normally be used for anatomical examination and research purposes if they gave a valid consent in writing before they died.

For a consent in writing to be valid it must be in writing and normally signed by the donor. The donor’s signature must be made in the presence of at least one witness and the witness or witnesses must “attest” (confirm that they believe that the signature is that of the donor) the donor’s signature.

If the donor cannot sign the consent he or she can direct someone to sign it on his or her behalf, in his or her presence and in the presence of at least one witness who must attest the signature.

Can the consent be contained in a will?

The donor’s consent to the use of their body for anatomical examination and research purposes can be contained in his or her will. In fact it is desirable that express written permission for anatomical examination and research should be included in the will where this is desired.

Appointing representatives

If you want to donate your body for anatomical examination and research you may wish to appoint someone to represent you after your death in relation to the consent. One or more adults can be appointed as representatives.

A written appointment should comply with the same formalities as set out above in relation to valid written consents. However, an oral appointment made in the presence of at least two witnesses present at the same time will be valid.

It is desirable for the appointment of representatives to be included in the will where the appointment of representatives is desired.

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