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Whole Body Donation Partnership Program

Whole body donation followed by cremation - Whole body donation can be an option that suits some families. Donating a body to a university or educational institution can benefit society by helping advance medical research and education. However, be very cautious deciding where to donate the body; find out where the body goes and with whom you are actually dealing. Please note that not all human bodies are eligible for whole body donation. Eligibility is always addressed on a case by case basis and your family should have an alternate plan, should the donation not be accepted.

Realize the difference between use of the body for education and research because they can be vastly different from one another:

There are only two education oriented body donation programs in Oregon. Each of these programs will pay the transportation cost to facilitate a whole body donation. It is our recommendation that you call each of these programs directly and ask them specific questions about the program, use of the body and the cremation process following.

Oregon Health & Science University - “Body Donation Program”

Western University of Health Sciences - “Willed Body Program”


This is very important information regarding Whole Body Donation

Others, who claim to be “whole body donation programs”, are actually businesses that dismember, or dissect, the body and actually “lease” body parts to purchasers throughout the country. They call this process “Tissue Procurement.” The leased body parts are not generally returned. The unused body parts (usually only 15-25% of the body) are cremated (generally by a third party) and returned to the family. Some of these businesses even go so far as to advertise “Free Cremation” in order to get families to donate the body to their business. Again, educate yourself and do not agree to anything that does not meet your family’s needs or desires.

The Crown Memorial Center role in whole body donation - Crown Memorial Centers recognize the benefits to society, and the need to educate future health care professionals and train experienced health care professionals on new techniques and procedures. That can only be achieved through the generous gift of whole body donation. With this in mind, we are proud to be Oregon’s leading supporter of our two whole body donation programs. When we facilitate a whole body donation, we accept the transportation payment from the university as payment-in-full and there are no charges to the family. The only cost to the family will be additional items requested at the time of death such as certified death certificates, memorial service assistance, viewing prior to donation or memorial products like urns or jewelry. There may also be times when a family is asked to pay mileage charges if the decedent is outside out service area.