Body Donation

  • Maryland State Board of Anatomy, 1-800-879-2728. The Board accepts bodies for all the medical schools in Maryland and also schools of dentistry, PT, mortuary sciences, the military, paramedics, etc. Any Maryland resident 18 or older of sound mind may sign up to donate their body in advance. Neither a family member nor even an authorized health care agent may donate another person’s body to the state Anatomy Board. The only exception to the requirement for a person to have registered to donate in advance is if he stipulated in his advance directive to donate his body to the Maryland State Anatomy Board, not just to “donate his body to science.” 
  • Local medical schools. It is always best to pre-arrange, but it may be possible to donate without doing so, if there has been no recent surgery, organ donation, autopsy, extensive resuscitation, or infectious disease. Even if a pre-registration has been made, if the body is deemed unsuitable it may not be accepted, so a backup plan is advised. Cremation and local transportation, usually only within a 50-mile radius, is covered. Local medical schools that accept bodies as of 7/2022 include:
    • Georgetown University –Department of Cell Biology – 202-687-1219
    • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences – Anatomy Dept.- 301-295-3334
  • Donating the brain to scientific research. It is possible to donate just the brain for research into neurological disease by registering in advance with the Brain Donor Project. The rest of the body is returned to the funeral home after the brain is removed in a manner that is non-disfiguring.
  • Commercial organizations that accept bodies for donation. There are private companies that accept bodies for donation and may be found online. Potential donors should be aware that there is little or no regulation of organizations such as this. A potential advantage of arranging for a body donation through one of these organizations is that they accept bodies without any pre-registration. However, such an arrangement bypasses giving the deceased an opportunity to weigh in on whether they would have approved of such a disposition or what actual uses they would approve or disapprove of.

Funeral Consumers Alliance of Maryland and Environs

P.O. Box 34177

Bethesda, MD 20827

info@mdfunerals.org

FCAME is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law.