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FAQ: Can I Register My Loved One as a Body Donor After They Have Already Passed?

  • Post category:Medcure

Pre-registration, better known as signing up to be a body donor before death, is not a requirement for MedCure’s whole-body donation program. While we accept pre-registrations from donors at any time, including years before passing becomes imminent, many of our donors were not registered with us in advance. Instead, we often find that families reach out to us because their loved ones did not know how the donation process works, but they made their desire to contribute to medical research and education known during their lives. We are always honored to assist donor families with carrying out their loved one’s final wishes to donate their bodies to science.

Due to the time-sensitive nature of the donation process, it is important to contact MedCure as soon as possible after the donor’s passing in order to maximize our ability to accept the donation. Our Donation Coordination department can be reach 24-hours a day, 365 days a year by calling our toll-free number 1-866-560-2525. 

The Donation Coordinator will have some medical and social history questions to help us determine the donor’s eligibility, so we suggest that the person with the most information on these topics be the one to call us. Once eligibility has been positively determined, the Coordinator will assist you in obtaining and
completing the necessary Donor Consent Forms. These forms must be signed by the donor’s legal Next of Kin and returned to us within 24-hours in order to move forward with the donation process.

As soon as we determine that a donor is eligible for our program, the Coordinator will immediately contact a funeral home in the donor’s area to make arrangements for them to assist us in bringing the donor into our care. The Donation Coordinator will provide the funeral home staff with the family’s contact information so that they can call to provide an estimated time of arrival.


Once the donor has been taken into our care, we will work to match them to the appropriate research or educational opportunities. After the donation process is complete, MedCure will employ a licensed crematory to perform a cremation. The family then has the option of either having the cremated remains returned to them, or of having MedCure perform a scattering at sea on their behalf. If the family chooses to have cremated remains returned, they will typically receive the delivery within 8 to 12 weeks of the donor’s passing.

MedCure is eternally grateful to all the generous donors who help us to advance the science of medicine and to improve and extend the lives of countless people, now and into the future.