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Donating Your Body to Science

Signing up as a donor through the Donate Life Northwest Registry does not register individuals for "whole body donation," or donating your body to science for the purpose of research and medical education.

Each year, thousands of people donate their bodies for use at medical schools for training and research. Researchers have an ongoing need for this type of donation to help in their work to find cures and therapies for many diseases. If an individual wishes to make a gift of their whole body for such purposes, they must make arrangements with a specific medical school or research program. In Oregon, there are two not-for-profit school-based education and/or research-oriented body donation programs. One of the following organizations should be able to provide you with more information about whole body donation:

OHSU Body Donation Program, 503-494-8302 It may be possible to be both an organ, eye, and tissue donor, as well as a whole body donor through the OHSU Body Donation Program.

Western University Body Donation Program, 541-259-0256

Each program has different requirements.  You will need to ask the individual program about their guidelines. 

We recommend that you call body donation programs directly and ask them specific questions about their program: 

  • Who benefits from my donation?
  • Will my body be used to make a profit?
  • How much will whole body donation cost (specifically, what are the costs of transportation and cremation)?
  • Will I have the option of donating my organs, eyes, or tissues for transplantation?
  • Will my body remain in the region of Oregon and Southwest Washington?
  • Do you make available a complete listing of programs, companies, or institutions to which you supply?