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URMC / Anatomical Gift Program / What Your Survivors Need to Know

What Your Survivors Need to Know

Informing your Relatives

We recommend that you tell your family about your decision to donate, in particular your immediate next of kin. The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry will not accept your donated body if your nearest living relative objects to the donation after your death. We encourage you to make your donation known to your family, close friends, minister, and attorney.

Instructions for Your Survivors at the Time of Death

At the time of your death, your survivors should call the Medical School as soon as possible at (585) 275-2592. This number can also be found on the back of the yellow donor card. We will work with your survivors and advise them of the procedures to follow. The yellow donor card is verification that you are pre-registered in our program and should accompany your body when transported to the Medical School.  Once a donated body has been received at the University of Rochester, there can be no viewing.

Additional Family Responsibilities

Your family is responsible for arrangements for funeral services or memorial services, death notices, and notification of death to the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, Railroad Retirement Board, or any private pension plans. Your local funeral director or the University funeral director can advise you on these matters.

Final Disposition of the Body

Upon completion of the use of a donated body (most commonly 2 years later), the remains are cremated at the University's expense. On occasion, a portion of the donation may be retained and archived for teaching purposes. In accordance with the donor's written wishes, the cremated remains are either returned to the family, who will assume responsibility for the final disposition, or they can be buried in our communal interment site in South Bristol, New York.

Changes regarding the disposition of your cremated remains may be made by your survivors. We require that a written, notarized request from your legal next of kin or executor of your estate be received in our office within 2 weeks of your death in order to make changes. Telephone requests cannot be honored.