Deciding to register with a body donor program is a very personal decision. Donated bodies help to advance medical and scientific knowledge locally, nationally and internationally in order to promote health and alleviate suffering.
Below is some detailed information from UQ’s School of Biomedical Science about their Body Donor Program to help with this decision.
Registering to become a Body Donor
Becoming a registered donor with the UQ Body Donor Program requires the intending donor to fill in a registration and consent form. To request a set of these forms, please contact the Body Donor Program at email@example.com or (07) 3365 2702 and provide your full name and best postal address, and an information and registration pack will be posted directly to you. This must be filled in and signed by the intending donor themselves and cannot be signed by an EPOA / next of kin / Executor. Once the form is correctly filled in and posted back to the UQ Body Donor Program the donor is officially registered.
All bodies are donated unconditionally to the University to be used in teaching, training, scientific studies and research. The donor is cremated at the Universities expense. There are 2 types of donor registration:
- TYPE 1: The donor’s body is utilised for a minimum of 3 months to a maximum of 5 years – following cremation the ashes will be offered to the nominated next of kin free of charge.
- TYPE 2: Under this type the ashes may be scattered or interred in a cemetery of the Universities choice with no further contact to the next of kin (only donors who tick this option may be considered for inclusion in the skeletisation program).
Steps to Take at Time of Passing
Once the registered donor has passed away and the next of kin has notified UQ of this passing, UQ will begin the eligibility process (the eligibility process can take 1-3 days). If the deceased has passed away in a situation that requires immediate transfer (home, nursing home, private hospital without a mortuary facilities) the family is encouraged to contact a local funeral home to complete the transfer and care for the deceased whilst eligibility for the program can be assessed. If the donor passes away in hospital with mortuary facilities, the first screening test is completed whilst the deceased remains in the hospital mortuary and then the family is required to select a funeral home of their choice for transfer to UQ.
In the First Screening Test – UQ will contact the donor’s doctor to understand the medical history and filter for any notable health conditions. Some conditions/ procedures may not immediately exclude donors from the program – each donation is assessed case by case – the University may make some exceptions in some cases. In saying this, the University may not be able to accept if:
- The donor has been deceased for more than 3 days
- The donor has or is suspected of having a communicable condition that can be passed on after death (including but not limited to: HIV, HEP A, B or C, TB, MRSA, VRE)
- The donor has been significantly altered by certain medical conditions or procedures (including amputation)
- The donor has undergone an autopsy
- The donor has undergone whole organ donation
- The donor has Creutzfeldt- Jakob Disease or rapidly progressing dementia of an unknown cause
- The donor has Jaundice
- The death is reportable to the coroner
- The donor is Obese or emaciated
- The donor cannot be transferred to our mortuary within 3 days ( outside of the 150km acceptance area)
- The University is at storage/ capacity limits
- The University is undergoing refurbishments or the Universities planed closures (eg. Christmas/New Year Break)
If the donor passes the first screening test, UQ will then liaise with the funeral director of the families choice to arrange for transportation into UQ’s care for the second screening test. Please note the transfer costs are absorbed by the family. The second test is a physical screening test to ensure that there are no physical restrictions of the donor (such as undeclared infections/ open wounds/ breakages or suspicious markings). If the donor passes the second test UQ will accept the deceased into the body donor program. If for whatever any reason UQ are unable to accept after the first or second screening, UQ respectfully will hand the family back to the original funeral director to begin funeral paperwork.
Common Body Donation Myths:
- The “Deceased” left instructions in their will to be a body donor will you accept them? No, UQ must have a valid signature from the intending donor on their consent forms prior to passing that has been witnessed by two people.
- If you’re a body donor you can’t have a service. Yes, you can have a service. It is a very common misconception that families believe that because the body has been donated that you cannot have a service. Although the body must be transported to UQ within 3 days of passing, families are highly encouraged to participate in a memorial service (a service where the body is not present) to honour their loved one, either privately or through the aid of a funeral home.
- If I am a registered donor I am guaranteed to be accepted into the body donor program. No, there is never a guarantee of acceptance into the program due to both internal and external factors. Families are always encouraged to have a funeral back up plan in the event of non-acceptance.
If of course you or your loved one have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the UQ Body Donor Program directly on 3365 2702 or firstname.lastname@example.org , or alternatively more information can be found on the UQ Biomedical Sciences website.
Contact Legacy Funerals
To discuss how we can help during your family’s time of need, please leave a message using the contact form, or feel free to call anytime:
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