In Maryland, bodies may be donated to the Maryland State Board of Anatomy, 1-800-879-2728. This board accepts bodies for all medical schools in Maryland as well as schools of dentistry, physical therapy, mortuary sciences, paramedics, etc. There are no restrictions because of infectious or other diseases the deceased may have had. Because there is great interest in this service, the Board requires application and acceptance of a body in advance.
Alternatively, bodies may be donated directly to specific medical schools in DC and Delaware or to one of a number of commercial entities. Contact:
- Howard University Medical School (Department of Anatomy – 202-806-9869),
- Georgetown University Medical School (Department of Cell Biology 202-687-1219), or
- Uniformed Services University of the Health Science (USUHS) 301-295-3334.
It is best to make arrangements beforehand but, when that has not been done, it is important to make arrangements right away before calling a funeral director.
Local funeral homes normally can transport bodies to the State Board of Anatomy or specific medical school with whom arrangements have been made. However, if a signed donor dies out of state, the family must pay for transportation to a local funeral establishment.
Anyone 18 or older (of sound mind) may sign the appropriate form to donate his/her body to the Maryland State Board of Anatomy or specific medical school, or stipulate in his advance directive a desire to do so. The desire to donate one’s organs, tissues or body may also be made via an advance health care directive form in a number of states.
In most cases, the cremated ashes of the donated bodies will be returned by the institution within 18 months to the family or other designated person.