The decision to donate your body to Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed) upon your death represents the ultimate gift to the world of medical education and a tremendous opportunity for the students who will become exceptional clinicians, leaders, educators, advocates, and researchers of tomorrow.
Once you register to become a donor, the Body Donation Program keeps your name and contact information on file. Upon your death, a caregiver or family member must contact us right away (within 24 hours of death). We take calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 844.366.9633. If within 50 miles of WMed, we will arrange for a licensed transporter to transport your body to the medical school, where it may be used to teach students and physicians about the structure of the human body, and for the purpose of conducting medical research.
The length of donation is specified by the donor or donor’s representative at the time of registration for a period of four years, six years, or forever. Once study of the body is complete, we either arrange for cremation or the donor may continue to contribute to education and research as part of the WMed Skeletal Research Collection. The donor form also asks whether the cremated remains shall be returned to the family or buried at the WMed memorial.
The Body Donation Program recognizes the substantial gift of each donated body and treats each with the utmost care and respect. You are encouraged to share the information with your family so they are familiar with the program and fulfill your wishes upon your death. It is also suggested that an alternate burial plan be considered in the event your body is not able to be accepted for donation.
There is no cost to the next-of-kin or estate for transport of the body to WMed for deaths within 50 miles, cremation of the remains, or shipping of the cremated remains within the continental United States.