Program overview

Program overview

Who can donate

You must be 18 years old or over to be accepted into the Program. There is no upper age limit.

A body donation can only be accepted if you die within New South Wales.

Reasons that may invalidate your donation are as follows:

  • Medical Reasons: Certain circumstances will preclude Macquarie University from accepting the donation of a human body, including if the donor:
    • has certain communicable diseases (e.g. all strains of hepatitis, AIDS/HIV, tuberculosis) or antibiotic resistant bacterial infections such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
    • has Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (VCJD) or rapid onset dementia of undetermined nature
    • resided in the UK between 1980 and 1996 for a total (cumulative) time of 6 months or more
    • received blood transfusions in the UK since 1 January 1980
    • cannot be transferred to the University within 48 hours of death
    • is unsuitable for various other reasons (eg. severe obesity (> 100kgs) or emaciation (< 40 kgs), tissue deterioration).
  • If there is insufficient space within the anatomy facility for the correct storage of your body.
  • If any of your next-of-kin object.
  • For any other reason that Macquarie University determines.

Determining whether your body can be accepted for donation can only be made at the time of your death as the cause of death may render the donation unusable for study.

How the Program works

  • Contact the Body Donation Coordinator by phone or email and we will send you an information package about the program as well as registration forms. Alternatively, you may download the forms.
  • When you sign and return the consent forms, we will send you a letter of acknowledgement to notify you that you have been registered as a donor, as well as a Body Donor Card for your wallet or purse.
  • When you pass away the University will be notified by your nominated next of kin or nursing/medical staff.
  • If your body is deemed to be in suitable condition, transport to Macquarie University will be organised.
  • A blood test will then be performed to test for any pathogens, the absence of which will lead to full acceptance into the program.
  • At the conclusion of the teaching process your remains will be respectfully cremated at the University's expense.
  • According to your wishes at the time of consent, your ashes will either then be made available to the next of kin or interred in the gardens of the crematorium.

What to do after death

The following steps are provided to guide the next of kin in making arrangements after the death of someone who has registered with the Body Donation Program.

1. Request certificates from the doctor

Death at a nursing home / person's home

If the death is at a nursing home or in the donor's own home, ask the medical practitioner who was responsible for the person's medical care immediately before death or who examines the body of a deceased person after death, to provide a:

  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  • Attending Practitioner's Cremation Certificate.

Death at a hospital

If the death is in a hospital, ask the designated medical officer for a:

  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  • Attending Practitioner's Cremation Certificate
  • Consent and Authority for Removal of Tissue after Death.

2. Contact the Body Donation Coordinator

Contact the Body Donation Coordinator at Macquarie University, who will ask you for initial details about the donor, such as where they are, how they died, their weight, and whether they had any infections.

Send the Body Donation Coordinator the above certificates by email or fax, or if you cannot send the certificates please advise us of the doctor's contact details. We will determine if there are any conditions that could prevent the University from accepting the donation, such as insufficient capacity, whether transport can be arranged within 24-48 hours, closure periods etc.

If the donation cannot proceed, the Body Donation Coordinator will suggest that you contact another institution's body donation program (if consent has been given for this). Otherwise, you will need to make alternative funeral arrangements.

3. Make arrangements with the funeral director

  • If the donation can proceed, the Body Donation Coordinator will contact Mannings Funeral Service and give them your contact details. A funeral director will contact you to arrange transport to Macquarie University.
  • You will need to provide the certificates to the funeral director, as these must accompany the body.
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