Wednesday, April 2, 2014



I have received many, many questions after my last post on body donation. Again, like cremation or burial, We at Avenidas Funeral Chapel neither condone or recommend body donation. it is a personal choice. But should you choose to donate, please be informed and ask questions. Know what your are getting yourself into. It is not bad, just different.

Question: Who is eligible to donate for the advancement of medical education and research?

Answer: Almost anyone can donate regardless of age, health and location within the United States. Although a few exclusions exist, most people qualify. Please contact us for your donation options.

Question: If I am an organ donor for transplantation, can I still donate for medical education and research?

Answer: There is not a definite answer to this question. It depends on which organs and tissue were donated for transplant and what current organs and tissue are needed by medical educators and researchers.

Question: If I am declined as an organ donor for transplant, does that mean that I am also excluded from donating to medical education and research?

Answer: No. Transplantation and medical education and research have very different exclusions. Transplantation exclusions are much stricter, requiring viable, non-diseased tissue. However, in medical education and research donation, diseased tissue is desirable and is often matched up with a medical educator or researcher studying that particular disease.

Question: Can my family request cremated remains?

Answer: Yes. The return of cremated remains to the next-of-kin is an option and is free of charge.

Question: Can I specify the research program and/or institution I wish to donate to?

Answer: This is difficult to do since different research programs accept tissue at different times. However, most will work with you or your loved ones to make every reasonable effort to fulfill your wish.

Question: Does an autopsy prohibit donation for medical education and research?

Answer: No. An autopsy does not exclude donation for medical education and research. However, a blood sample will need to be drawn prior to the autopsy.

Question: Do I need to pre-consent in order to be a donor?

Answer: No. After death has occurred, the legal next-of-kin can consent to donation if all family members are in agreement.

Question: Where does your donation facilities funding come from?

Answer: That facility is a self-funded medical education and research tissue bank that receives reimbursements from universities, government agencies, corporate and private medical institutions for the professional services we provide. They also adhere to all state and federal regulations through the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.

Question: What is the corporate status of the facility you refer and its affiliated research programs?

Answer: we refer a facility that is incorporated as a taxable organization. The medical education and research programs that rely on that facility for anatomical tissue specimens are both for profit and non-profit.

Question: How does my religion feel about organ and tissue donation?

Answer: Most major religions are supportive of organ and tissue donation but we recommends checking with your spiritual advisor.

Question: Are there any financial costs associated with whole body donation for medical education and research?

Answer: Most whole body donation facilities pays for a direct cremation (cremation, transportation and filing of the death certificate). If a donor’s family chooses to have an urn, memorial service, ship out of ashes etc., those additional selections can be arranged with the funeral home at the family’s expense.

Question: Is the personal information of donors kept confidential?

Answer: Absolutely, Donor companies adheres to strict confidentiality practices. All donors are assigned a unique identification number that is used throughout the donation process to keep the donor’s personal information confidential.

Question: Why is human tissue donated for medical education and research purposes?

Answer: There is no substitute for human tissue when studying the body. Physicians, doctors, medical educators and researchers around the world rely on donated tissue to help further medical advancements and/or to complete their studies on the many debilitating diseases that continue to afflict mankind.

Question: When will cremated remains be returned to the family?

Answer: The donation process does not slow the cremation process. Remains are usually returned to the family within 4-6 weeks.

Question: If I’m a donor, can I have a traditional funeral service?

Answer: Most whole-body donors are cremated and therefore a traditional funeral with an open “viewing” casket is not an option. However, a closed casket service is a possibility.