Medical Assessment

OHSU's Body Donation Program must wait until notification of the death is received before a medical assessment is performed to determine if the decedent will be accepted into the program. This procedure usually occurs over the phone with a nurse, hospice worker or caregiver. Staff will arrange transportation from the place of death to OHSU for accepted donors. The transportation team will assist in the completion and filing of the death certificate in the week following the death.

At the time of death, please call the Body Donation Program at 503-494-8302.

Driver's license donation designation

A driver's license may be coded with a "D" for donor, but this license designation only qualifies someone for tissue and organ donation. Eligibility for the Body Donation Program requires a separate registration form to be completed by the potential donor, the donor's next of kin or authorized representative.

Read about the donation process

Donating to organ, eye and tissue donation programs and Body Donation

Due to the possible extensiveness of organ procurement, it may make a potential donor ineligible to our program. Donation to our program after any organ or tissue donation will be determined on a case-to-case basis at the time of death.

Conditions for ineligibility

Acceptability for whole body donation can only be determined at the time of death after a medical assessment is completed. An alternate plan should be in place with a funeral home in the event that a body donation is not accepted.

The most common, but not all reasons, for ineligibility are an unhealthy body mass index, extensive trauma, signs of decomposition or history of communicable disease. To avoid undue grief and disappointment to members of your family, they should be made aware of these conditions.

Do age, disease, weight or surgeries make the donation unacceptable?

There is no upper age limit for whole body donation. Medical conditions that would prevent acceptance as a donor include Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, hepatitis, HIV and tuberculosis. Extensive trauma at the time of death or advanced decomposition would also make the remains unsuitable for anatomical study.

Due to the nature of our preparation process, we are unable to accept donors weighing over 200 lbs or under 100 lbs. No recent extensive unhealed surgeries or autopsy are suitable for our program. Upon passing, a complete medical screen will take place with a caregiver, hospice worker or social worker. This screening usually occurs over the phone and takes about 10 minutes.