Who May Donate

Anyone that is competent and are at least 18 years of age may donate his or her body for medical education and research.

How One May Donate

Even though it is not required, pre-deeding your body for medical education and research provides a piece of mind to not only the donor but for his or her family as well.

Apply for the Body Donor Program

Who May Complete an Application

The donor himself/herself

This allows one to apply himself/herself through an online or print form.  

Next-of-kin This allows the legal next of kin to register an individual on the donor’s behalf.
Power of Attorney for Healthcare This allows the legal power of attorney for health care to register an individual on his/her behalf.  If the power of attorney is signing for the applicant, the power of attorney for healthcare paperwork must accompany the application and must be on file at Des Moines University to be considered for the body donor program.

Program Process at Time of Death

  1. Hospital, care facilitator, donor’s family, or the funeral home contacts the body donor program to discuss the eligibility of the donor.
  2. The program will assess the need and medical suitability including but not limited to height/weight ratio, medical history, cause and time of death, along with any infectious or contagious disease processes.
  3. If the donor is not medically suitable, the program will notify the caller that he/she does not meet the program requirements.  The family will then be responsible for making other disposition arrangements with the funeral home.
  4. If the donor is medically suitable and is accepted, the program will notify the caller of such decision and the funeral home will be notified to make the removal from the place of death.
  5. The funeral home will contact the program to discuss transportation arrangements immediately and/or following the funeral services if the family desires to have a service prior to donation.
  6. Once the donor has arrived to Des Moines University, the family will be mailed a condolence package with additional paperwork to complete.
  7. Following the completion of our studies, the family will be invited to our annual body donor memorial service held spring and the donor’s remains will be returned to the next of kin, funeral home, or buried in our mausoleum space at Chapel Hill Gardens in Des Moines, Iowa.