Frequently Asked Questions


Find answers to some common questions about the Body Donation Program.

About the Program
Yes, financial contributions are accepted. Cheques made payable to the Anatomical Sciences Research Endowment, can be mailed to the program address below.

Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
2350 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z3
Yes, each year the students organize a beautiful and dignified memorial service for donors who were cremated in the previous year. The memorial is an opportunity for students to express their appreciation of the special privilege granted to them. The ceremony includes musical performances, and family members and loved ones are invited to honour the donor and share fond memories with speeches and unforgettable stories. Favourite pictures and treasured belongings of the donor can be displayed in the memory hall for all guests to view. Invitations to the ceremony, typically held at the Life Sciences Atrium at UBC on a Saturday in late September, are sent out to close family members and next of kin in early August.
Most body donations are used for teaching purposes and will be the subject of student examination and dissection. However, some donations will be used specifically for medical and research training. These donations will help to advance surgical training techniques and enhance progress in areas of medical research, making a very special and valuable contribution to the education of our health care professionals and the communities they serve.

The UBC Body Donation program does not perform and is not involved in any individual- or disease-specific research, as this is more appropriately performed in tissue culture or living patients.
No, UBC – Vancouver is the only Body Donor Program in British Columbia

Deciding to Donate, Registration, and Consent

No. Every potential donor is appreciated, but some conditions will not allow for donation to occur. The University reserves the right to decline any donation if considered unsuitable. For this reason it is recommended that alternate arrangements be made in advance. For more information on what conditions may prevent body donation, please see the questions below.
There is no upper age limit for donation, but donors must be over the age of 30.
  • Some infectious diseases
  • Severe antibiotic resistance infections
  • A body mass index higher than 27 or lower than 16.
  • Excessive trauma to the body (including recent surgery)
  • Autopsy or Coroner’s case
  • Delay in notification of death
  • Most organ donations (except corneas)
  • Some forms of cancer
  • Other conditions at the discretion of the Physician and Body program staff
Yes. However, in the event of solid organ removal for transplant (with the exception of corneal transplant) body donation is not possible.

If you are declined as an organ donor, body donation may be considered as an alternative. For information on organ donation, please contact BC Transplant at 604-877-2240 or online at
The University covers all transportation costs throughout BC and the cost of cremation.
Special urns, burial plots, monuments, or private memorial services for the donor.

Registration of Death and the Issuance of Death Certificate through our partnered funeral home, Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services.
Yes. You may contact the office at any time to rescind your consent for donation. After passing, UBC cannot accept donations if the family or executor of the donor contests the donation.

However, family cannot revoke the donation after we have completed the transport and received the donor.
It is recommended that you notify and discuss this decision with:
  • Your next of kin
  • Executor of your estate
  • Your physician
  • Anyone else potentially involved in the donation process
What Happens After Passing?
A medical school in the region where death occurs may be contacted to make arrangements for donation to another program. If you move away from British Columbia, we recommend that you make arrangements with a donor program in your place of residence.
Death Certificates will be issued for our donors by our contracted funeral home, Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services.
The Donation will remain at UBC up to a maximum of 3 years. However, donors have the option to register indefinitely where a portion may be retained for use in teaching, training, and research.

After it, the University will arrange for and provide cremation of the remains with Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services. An executor/Next of kin will be contacted to collect the ashes in a simple urn provided by the University.
If the body is not accepted into the donation program, it will be the responsibility of the executor or next of kin to proceed with your alternate arrangements.
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Contact Us

Contact Tel: 604-822-2578
Fax: 604-827-4209

Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
2350 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z3

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