SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Department of Cell Biology
Anatomical Gift Program
In spite of the many advances in medical technology, there is nothing that can surpass the human body in giving medical students their foundation of knowledge in anatomy. The study of the human body provides the basic understanding of body structures, their functions, their relationships to one another, and the basis for understanding when the body systems fail to function properly. The Anatomical Gift Program at SUNY Health Science Center, Brooklyn, allows an individual to make a lasting and meaningful contribution to medical education by furthering the study of the human body. A bequest to the program contributes to the advancement of medical learning and research, and helps physicians to develop essential knowledge.
Many people appreciate the fact that donating their body to medicine is a way of serving humanity even after death and, in addition, there is the added benefit of relieving surviving family members of the financial burden of funeral expenses.
If you are interested in pledging a donation, please contact us at SUNY Health Science Center, Brooklyn. Your bequest to Our Anatomical Gift Program will help ensure the future of high quality medical care and innovative research. Your donation is a thoughtful and magnanimous gift that provides physicians and research scientists with the opportunity to gain knowledge, which may prolong or improve the lives of others.
QUESTIONS FREQUENTLY ASKED ABOUT DONATING YOUR BODY TO MEDICAL SCIENCE
Who can donate?
Any person over 18 years of age can bequeath his or her body to a medical, dental, or other health related professional school for the purpose of medical research and education under the Department of Health, State of New York's, Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.
Must an attorney be notified to donate my body to medical science?
No. This type of gift does not have to be written into your will. You should complete "donor cards", and sign them in the presence of a witness. (Anyone over the age of 18 years may act as your witness). Complete the donor cards according to the instructions and return them to SUNY Downstate at Brooklyn.
Do I have to be pre-registered to participate in the Donor Program?
No. The decision to donate the body of a loved one can be made at the time of death by the nearest next-of-kin.
What happens to my body after medical studies are complete?
All donated bodies are cremated. Your family will be given three options for the disposition of the cremains:
- The cremains can be buried in a common grave in Forest Park Green Cemetery, Morganville, NJ, along with other donors.
- The cremains can be scattered at sea.
- The cremains can be returned to the family for them to dispose of as they wish. The cremains are returned via Parcel Post (unless otherwise indicated) in a shipping container.
Will there be any expenses for donating my body to SUNY Downstate?
SUNY Downstate will assume all costs for transportation (unless the death occurs outside the 5 boroughs of New York City or adjacent counties), embalming, storage, cremation, and shipping the cremains to the family. There will be no cost to the family for the scattering of cremains at sea or the interment of cremains at Forest Park Green Cemetery. However, if the family chooses to purchase an urn, have a private memorial service, or inter the cremains in a family plot, these costs will be the responsibility of the family.