The Importance of Body Donation

The University of California has a systemwide policy in place on anatomical donations.  This policy includes procedures such as a robust oversight mechanism, operational checks and balances, tracking protocols, secure facilities and professional personnel who are highly capable and who have cleared background checks.  We are committed to the dignified, respectful treatment of our donors and to operating programs that maintain public confidence by exceeding regulatory requirements and prioritizing the university's values and ethics.  Should you have questions or concerns, please be in touch with us at 858-534-4536.

Anatomy, the study of the structure of the human body, is one of the most important courses in the education of physicians, dentists, and other health professionals such as nurses and physical therapists. In most of these fields, the study of anatomy comes first in the curriculum and serves as the foundation for other courses. Further, physicians in residency training and those in practice often pursue special courses in anatomy. In addition to being used for teaching medical and other health profession students, bodies that are donated to medical schools are also used by research physicians in the development of new surgical procedures, such as for developing new arthroscopic surgeries, knee, ankle and shoulder joint research, plastic surgery procedures including flap reconstruction for burn victims, surgical approaches to various internal organs, and many other surgical and medical procedures. At the rate at which medical science is advancing, it is increasingly necessary for physicians and other biomedical scientists to conduct special anatomical studies and research. Anatomical bequests are greatly appreciated as each contributes directly to new understandings. As you consider the option of donating your body to science, know that the need is great, and that your gift will be valued and honored. Your donation will play a critical role in helping medical students to master the complex anatomy of the human body and will provide researchers with the essential tools to help our patients of tomorrow.

The Body Donation Program (BDP)

The Body Donation Program at the University of California, San Diego is committed to excellence in research and education. While the primary focus of the Program is to obtain the human cadaver for educational and scientific study, we strive to administer the BDP in a way consistent with the spirit of the good physician. In our contact with donors registering with the BDP or with the families of the donor, we provide service that is compassionate as well as competent. For further information on enrolling in the program, please see our Form Packet page.