School of Medical Education

Donate Your Body

Donate Your Body

Donate your body for anatomical examination, education or training relating to human health and research in connection with disorders or the functioning of the human body.

Bequests of bodies after death to Newcastle University are used either to teach anatomy to medical and dental students, other health care professionals and therapists at Newcastle University, or for surgical training, education or research at Newcastle Surgical Training Unit at Freeman Hospital.

Before you make a bequest, please read the Body Donation Information Letter  (PDF: 21KB) and the Body Donation Information Pack (PDF: 414KB).

If you would like a copy of the pack posted to you, please contact the Bequeathal Secretary at the following address:

The Bequeathal Secretary
Anatomy and Clinical Skills
School of Medical Education
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne

Telephone: 0191 208 6616 (office hours)

Body registration

You should read through the Body Donation Information Pack (PDF: 214KB) and discuss your wishes with your next-of-kin or executor so they know your intentions and are willing to carry out your wishes after your death.

To register your bequest, you will need to complete two bequest consent forms in the presence of a witness (this may be a spouse/partner, next-of-kin, executor, friend, solicitor, etc).

One copy should be returned to the Bequeathal Secretary so your name can be included in our register of potential donors. The second copy should be retained by you.

It is not possible to guarantee the acceptance of any bequest at any time. The main reasons for non-acceptance are if:

  • there has to be a coroner’s postmortem
  • a person dies abroad
  • there is a severe infection (e.g. hepatitis, tuberculosis, HIV, MRSA, septicaemia)
  • a person has Alzheimer’s disease or senile dementia of unknown cause
  • a person has had a recent operation (where the wound has not healed)
  • a person has bed sores, varicose ulcers, oedema

It is possible to consider bequests from donors who have cancer.

Procedure at time of death

A death should be notified to the Bequeathal Secretary by telephone (0191 208 6616) as soon as possible after the death occurs. Please note that the Newcastle Medical School Anatomy and Clinical Skills office is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. There is a voicemail system at the office and relatives should follow the recorded instructions. The offer of the bequest will be considered immediately when the office reopens.

A decision regarding the acceptance of the bequest will be made as quickly as possible. For deaths occurring over a weekend, arrangements should be made for the body to be moved to a local funeral director (with refrigeration facilities). Alternatively, potential body donors may also contact the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) who will put them in touch with their local medical school. The HTA can be contacted at the following address:

Human Tissue Authority 
Finlaison House
15–17 Furnival Street

Telephone: 020 7211 3400