North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

Commission of Anatomy: How to Donate

The donation of one's body is a precious gift, and one that is deeply appreciated by the state's medical, dental and health profession students. This is a gift that needs to be made in advance, so that the donor's name can be placed on a Donor Registry for the state.

If an individual wishes to make a gift of their body to one of the body donation programs in the state, they should contact in advance one of the programs linked to this site. In general, the prospective donor will need to complete just three forms:

  1. A certificate bequeathing the body by the individual or next-of-kin (signing must be witnessed by two adults);
  2. A supplementary information form; and
  3. An authorization for release of medical information.

School-specific procedures and forms:

Each program reserves the right to decline the donation at the time of death. This may occur if certain infectious diseases are present or if an autopsy has been performed.

Programs do not financially compensate the family of the deceased. With some programs, there may be a charge for transporting the body to the medical school. Each program pays for embalming, cremation, and return of their cremated remains to the next-of-kin.

Organ donors, with the exception of corneas-only donors, cannot also be whole-body donors. If the heart symbol is present on the potential donor's driver's license, then the person is considered to be an organ donor.

Fayetteville Technical Community College's Anatomical Donation Program will accept the bodies of those who have been organ and tissue donors because they are not used for anatomical dissection.

For those interested in other types of donation, please go here.

Last Modified: March 9, 2017