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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the restrictions?

While each preregistered donor is normally accepted, finalacceptance is determined until time of death.We encourage each donor to make alternative arrangement in case their​ donation is not accepted. Restrictions may include:

  • Extreme emaciation, obesity: Donor’s BMI MUST be between 16 & 33 AND more than 80 lbs. and less than 215 lbs.(BMI Scale)​​
  • Contagious disease (Aspergillosis, Creutzfelds-Jakob (the human variant of mad-cow disease), Ebola, HIV (AIDS), Hepatitis, Meningitis, SARS, Smallpox, Tuberculosis (TB), any hospital acquired disease including MRSA and Clostridium difficile, etc.)

  • Deformities, Dislocations, and/or Disfigurments

  • Severe trauma or open wounds (including certain recent surgeries)

  • Fluid Buildup  such as ascites, edema, or septicemia

  • Organs or parts removed at time of death, except eyes

  • Decomposition / Decay
  • Embalming
  • Autopsy
  • Current education or research programs are not in need of donors

​May I withdraw from this program? 

​At any time, if your desires change, a dated and signed letter to the Division will withdraw your donation and you will be notified in writing that we have removed your name from the program. 

Will I ever be too old for this program?

No, there are no age limits for donation. 

Will my family receive a report after the studies are completed? 


Will I be paid for this donation? 

No, this is against current Ohio law.

What is my cost? 

The OSU Body Donor Program will only be responsible for the costs contracted by the program including: transporting the donor’s remains to the Body Donor Program; death certificate preparation fees; and cremation of the remains all through Shaw-Davis Funeral Homes & Cremation Services. Additionally, cremains will either be returned as designated on the bequeathal forms or interred in the mausoleum at the Silent Home Cemetery (1576 Lancaster Ave., Reynoldsburg, OH 43068) at no cost to the family. Any other desired supplemental services, including memorial service(s), obituary notices, burial of the cremains and/or placement in a private niche, and/or certified copies of the death certificate from the Ohio Department of Health – (http://www.odh.ohio.gov/en/vitalstatistics/vitalmisc/vitalstats), are at the expense of the donor’s family and/or the donor’s estate and should be arranged with a funeral services provider of the family’s choosing.

Will we get the ashes (cremains) back? 

Yes, if you request them back before death. It may take up to 2 years for the studies to be completed and the cremains to be returned. 

For those families choosing not to have the cremains returned, the cremains will be interred, at the program’s expense, in a crypt at the mausoleum at the Silent Home Cemetery, 1576 Lancaster Ave., Reynoldsburg, OH 43068. Families are welcome to visit any time the cemetery is open.
Vault Plaque.jpg

Mausoleum.jpg     Cemetary.jpg

Additionally, in The Spirit of Women Park (at 10th Ave and Med Center Drive) there is a plaque and tree dedicated in memory of those individuals who made a very personal and unselfish gift to the Anatomy Body Donor Program in support of education and research at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. Friends and family are encouraged to explore the park, relax, reflect, and remember their loved one. ​

Does the program accept out-of-state donations? 

The Division of Anatomy does not accept out-of-state bequeathals. In the event that death occurs while traveling outside the state of Ohio, our office can provide the family with a listing of medical colleges within the state where death occurred. Should the nearest medical school refuse to accept the body for any reason, disposition of the body would become the responsibility of the family or estate. Alternatively, if you spend extended time in another state (vacationing, visiting relatives, etc.), we suggest that you register as a donor in that state as well. 

May I donate my organs, too? 

Removal of the organs at the time of death would make whole-body donation impractical. Eyes, however, may be donated and arrangements should be made with the Eye Bank at the same time as your application for body donation.