Last updated on 06 Dec 2021

How to donate your body

Anyone can decide to donate their body, and medical schools welcome the offer of a donation. If you are interested in donating your body, you will need to contact a medical school for further information and a consent form. For information about how to contact your local medical school, enter your postcode into our search tool or contact us directly.

Under the Human Tissue Act 2004, written and witnessed consent for anatomical examination must be given prior to death. Consent cannot be given by anyone else after your death. A consent form can be obtained from your local medical school and a copy should be kept with your Will. You should also inform your family, close friends, and GP that you wish to donate your body. 

Medical schools which accept donated bodies will normally only accept donations from within their local area due to the transport costs involved. Offers of body donation from outside the area may be accepted on the condition that the donor’s estate bears the cost of transporting the body. Full details can be obtained directly from the medical schools.  

Our role is to make sure that these organisations remove, store, and use brains, bodies and tissues in an appropriate, respectful and well-managed way, and that the wishes of individual patients and their families are respected.

The HTA’s regulation helps ensure that tissue is stored to high standards, to be of most use to healthcare training and research. We know that more people are willing to donate in the knowledge there is an effective regulator that monitors and inspects organisations against certain standards.

Body donations are highly valued by staff and students at medical schools. A donated body can be used for a number of purposes, which may include:

  • Anatomical examination – teaching students or healthcare professionals about the structure and function of the human body.
  • Research – scientific studies which improve the understanding of the human body.  
  • Education and training – training healthcare professionals on surgical techniques.