“I decided to give my money to an organization that will do some good. I have a brother and two sisters that have also donated their bodies to the OHSU Body Donation Program and I, too, plan to donate mine. I hope our descendants will keep up this family tradition.”
Funding for the OHSU Body Donation Program has always relied on the generous financial, in-kind and volunteer support of individuals and organizations.
There are the extraordinary whole body donors and their families. The estate of the deceased pays all funeral home costs. Oregon does not provide funds for the initial preparation and transportation of donated remains from the funeral home to the Body Donation Program. The estate of the deceased assumes these costs as a contribution to the advancement of medical education and research.
OHSU provides internal organization and support and the entire Body Donation Program facility, including laboratory space, some equipment such as the freezer and crematory, and covers utility charges such as heating & cooling, lights, water, etc. The Program occasionally pays some administrative costs, but these are minimal.
All 36 of the statewide programs that use Body Donation Program cadavers pay a set procurement fee to cover the costs of staffing, embalming, storage and distribution, cremation and transportation to a final resting place as specified by the donor family.
The Body Donation Program staff travel around the state making presentations to various groups interested in whole body donation. Staff also facilitate OHSU education programs that support the study of science. High school students may tour the campus and view a human body that has been prepared for this purpose. Supervised second year medical students prepare the body and conduct the demonstration.
First year medical students write poems, thank you cards and letters to the donor families expressing appreciation for the opportunity to learn from their family member. These tokens are sent to the donor families by the Body Donation Program staff. In addition, each winter following the termination of the gross anatomy course, first year medical students organize and hold a memorial service for the entire first year class, the faculty, the administration and the donor families. The memorial service includes appropriate short stories, essays or poetry that they write themselves or selected readings and musical renditions. During the service, donor family members are invited to talk extemporaneously about their deceased family member. The appreciation shown by the OHSU medical students has helped to increase body donations in recent years as well as monetary donations to the Body Donation Program.
Generous individuals make financial donations every year. The reasons given for financial donations include having no family, in honor of a recently deceased loved one, to support a program of which they are members (a whole body donor), and to advance medical science and education. Please consider a financial donation today.
To make a financial donation, please make out a check payable to the OHSU Foundation, in the note or memo line write: Anatomical Procurement Account and mail to:
1121 SW Salmon Street, Suite 200
Portland, OR 97205-2021