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One of the key components to the whole body donation process is completing the donation consent forms. These forms grant MedCure permission to make arrangements to bring the donor into our care, request medical records, and perform a cremation after the donation has been utilized.
Only individuals that are currently receiving hospice care or have been given a life expectancy of 6 months or less are required to complete donation consent forms. This allows us to better prioritize those individuals and families who are in immediate need while registering others in a timelier manner. However, if a potential donor who isn’t nearing end-of-life doesn’t have anyone to act as their Health Care Power of Attorney (HPOA) or legal Next of Kin, then we advise that they complete the donation consent forms in advance.
If the donor is completing the donation consent forms in advance, please be advised that in order to remain compliant with regulations governing whole body donation and to maintain our AATB accreditation, MedCure must sometimes make changes to our consent forms. While we are often able to grandfather in older versions of the consent forms that were completed prior to the changes taking affect, there is sometimes the need for MedCure to gather additional documentation from the family at the time of passing to satisfy these requirements.
If a donor is nearing end-of-life but is capable of signing the donation consent forms for themselves, then they should do so and submit them to our Donation Coordination team as soon as possible.
The only person other than the donor themselves who can legally sign the consent forms prior to the donor’s passing is someone who has Health Care Power of Attorney (HPOA). Since there are very specific requirements that an HPOA must meet in order to be valid for the purposes of whole body donation, and there is a wide variety of Power of Attorney documents, we advise that the HPOA documentation be submitted to our Donation Coordination team for review before the consent forms are signed.
If the donor isn’t capable of signing the consent forms and there is no valid HPOA available, then the consent forms will need to be signed after the donor’s passing by the legal Next of Kin. In this instance, the legal Next of Kin would be determined by the following priority: 1. Spouse 2. Adult Child 3. Parent 4. Sibling 5. Next Degree of Kindred.