Anatomical Gift Program
Whole-body donation is a unique and priceless gift that provides foundational knowledge for healthcare education and research.
The Anatomical Gift Program is a whole-body donor program in which individuals can donate their body directly to Northeast College of Health Sciences for education and research. The donation of one's body after death is a unique and priceless gift that provides a source of knowledge for healthcare education and research. Northeast recognizes the unique value of this special gift, and will be forever thankful to those who have placed their trust in us.
Anatomy is the study of the structure of the human body. Detailed study of the human body occurs in the majority of our degree programs at Northeast and in our Research Department. It is an invaluable and indispensable part of healthcare education and research. Each year, numerous whole-body donations are needed to support our institution's commitment to academic excellence and community service.
About Northeast’s Anatomical Gift Program.
Any competent person 18 or older may donate their body for medical education and research. After death, donations may also be made by the next of kin or executor.
How to Donate
An individual may donate their remains before death by completing an Anatomical Gift Program enrollment form. The completion of this form does not require the services of a lawyer or notary. The form must be signed by two witnesses, preferably someone who can act on the individual's behalf at the time of death. When our College receives the completed declaration of consent, the potential donor will be registered in the files of the Anatomical Gift Program and a donor participant card will be issued to the donor. Please note that donations made through an individual’s will may be read too late after death to permit timely acceptance of the request.
As a registered donor to the Anatomical Gift Program, you should inform your next of kin or other individuals who are responsible under the law for the deposition of your remains and your desire to donate your body to medical science. Discuss your plans with those close to you so that your wishes may be honored. At the time of death, if the next of kin or another family member expresses regrets concerning the donation, the Anatomical Gift Program will relinquish all claim and cancel the donation agreement. It is advisable for a potential donor to notify his or her physician of the arrangements.
In the event that an individual dies prior to registering with the Anatomical Gift Program, the donation can still be made. After the death of an individual, an Anatomical Gift Statement of Donation form may be executed by the next of kin or executor. Upon notification of death, the Anatomical Gift Program will accept the remains contingent upon a verbal request by the next of kin. A Statement of Donation Form must be filed within 72 hours after receipt of the remains in order for the donation to proceed.
At the Time of Death
When death occurs, a family member, hospital staff, or funeral director should notify the Anatomical Gift Program at Northeast College of Health Sciences at 315.568.3240 to hear a voicemail that provides our funeral director’s phone number. The family will then call the funeral director and arrangements will be made.
The Anatomical Gift Program will arrange for transport of the body to the Northeast College. Transportation to the College is provided by a licensed funeral director, under contract with the Anatomical Gift Program. If the family of the deceased utilizes the services of a funeral director of their choosing, all expenses and fees beyond those normally incurred by the Anatomical Gift Program will be the responsibility of the family or estate of the deceased.
Refusal of a Donation
Northeast College of Health Sciences reserves the right to decline the donation of a body when the remains are deemed unsuitable for educational purposes. A body must not be previously autopsied or embalmed.
Other conditions that may render a body unsuitable include:
- certain infectious diseases (AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis);
- extensive trauma at the time of death;
- advanced decomposition; or
- extreme obesity or malnutrition.
Please discuss alternate plans with your family, in the unlikely event that we do not accept the gift of your body at the time of your death.
Organ Donation and Anatomical Gifts: The Anatomical Gift Program supports organ donations. The donation of organs for transplantation takes precedence over whole-body donation. Individuals who donate their organs for transplantation are acceptable as whole-body donations to Northeast College of Health Sciences provided the remaining criteria are met.
When anatomical studies are completed, approximately 24 to 32 months after donation, all bodies are cremated individually and sealed.
Two options are available to the donor and/or family:
- The ashes may be returned to the family or other designated individual for final disposition.
- Northeast College of Health Sciences will assume responsibility for disposition and will inter the ashes in a secure and sanctified location at Northeast College of Health Sciences.
While the decision of final disposition is requested at the time of the donation, it is not binding and can be changed at any time by notifying the Anatomical Gift Program. With either option, next of kin identified on the donor enrollment booklet will be invited to a memorial service. It is at the memorial service that Northeast College of Health Sciences and its students express their appreciation to the donors and their families.
Northeast College of Health Sciences does not offer payment for a body but will assume responsibility for appropriate administrative and filing fees as well as for the cost of transportation of the remains to the College, up to a distance of 150 miles. For distances greater than 150 miles from the College, the next of kin or other designated individual(s) will be responsible to pay the excess charges for transportation to Northeast. Should death occur at any great distance from Northeast, the Anatomical Gift Program will assist the family with the arrangements for donation to an anatomical gift program at another medical school. Individuals who travel for extended periods to other parts of the United States are encouraged to join a donation program in that area to provide coverage for when they are away from home. Northeast College will assist you in locating a donation program at another medical school.
Northeast College of Health Sciences does not sell whole bodies, parts, or organs to for-profit businesses, research groups, or tissue banks.
Northeast College of Health Sciences deeply appreciates your desire to bequeath your body for the purpose of healthcare education and/or research.:
Below is a link to our Anatomical Gift Donation Kit. Please print out three copies. Please return only ONE (1) to:
Anatomical Gift Program
Dr. Michael Zumpano
Northeast College of Health Sciences
2360 State Route 89
Seneca Falls, NY 13148
The second copy should be kept by the person who will be contacting Northeast College of Health Sciences at the time of the donor's death, perhaps a next of kin, physician, attorney, clergyman, etc.
The third copy should be kept by the donor for his/her records. We strongly suggest that donors discuss their wishes with family and friends so that everyone is aware of the Anatomical Gift Program's policies and procedures.
After receipt of your completed kit, a donor card will be issued (processing takes approximately two weeks). If you have any questions please feel free to write or call the Anatomical Gift Program at the address and/or telephone number listed above. Again, thank you and please know that you are making a generous contribution to students and healthcare education.