Who can donate to High Point University for anatomical research and education?

Under the Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act of North Carolina subject to general statutes

 §130A-412.6, and §130A-412.11

Any competent person 18 years or older or a legally authorized person that has the authority to donate the body of their loved one* can do so.

There is no upper age limit.


* N.C.G.S. § 130A-412.11 provides for the following classes of persons to donate a body for educational purposes in order of priority listed:

(1)  An agent of the decedent  to the extent authorized under a power of attorney for health care or other record who could have made such a donation during the deceased’s life;
(2) The spouse of the decedent;
(3) Adult children of the decedent;
(4) Parents of the decedent;
(5) Adult siblings of the decedent
(6) Adult grandchildren of the decedent;
(7) Grandparents of the decedent;
(8) An adult who exhibited special care and concern for the decedent;
(9) The persons who were acting as the guardians of the person of the decedent at the time of death; and
(10) any person having the authority to dispose of the decedent’s body.

What is the difference between whole-body donation and organ donation?

Whole-body donation is when a donor wills his or her entire or whole-body to a university, medical school, or other program. Organ donation is when a donor wills their organs for use in transplantation, medical, or clinical research.

Can I donate my body if I am an organ donor?

No. High Point University’s Willed Body Program is a whole-body donation program. Organ and tissue donation, other than the donation of eyes for corneal transplantation, will make a donor unsuitable for our program.

Are there any costs involved in the donation of one’s body?

No. High Point University’s Willed Body Program is committed to making the choice to donate stress free. We will cover the cost of the following:

  • Transportation (within 300 miles*) to our on-campus Care Center
  • Preparation for donation and cremation upon completion
  • The urn the cremated remains are placed into following cremation
  • Filing the death certificate and a burial transit permit
  • Interring the cremated remains in our Memorial Garden
  • Scattering remains in the Atlantic Ocean
  • Returning cremated remains by certified mail through the United States Postal Service

Should I include my choice to donate my body to High Point University in my will?

In many cases a will might not be read for several days or months following a donor’s death. This would cause the notification of the donor’s death to be delayed. Because of the nature of the donation, we ask that a donor be transferred into our care within 24 hours after death. It is more effective to share your wishes with your family, authorized representative, and even your clergy of your wish to donate.

What happens after I send in my document of gift?

Once all forms have been received, reviewed and accepted by the Willed Body Program, we will mail an acknowledgement of receipt along with three Donor Identification Cards. You should keep one Donor Identification Card for your own personal records in a purse or wallet and give the others to trusted individuals that will assist in carrying out your wish to donate to High Point University.

Will my family receive any compensation for my donation?

No. By law, willed body/anatomical donation programs are not permitted to give money or purchase a body for the use as a donation.

How are donated bodied used and who has access to them?

High Point University’s Willed Body Program strongly believes in the numerous medical advancements and patient care benefits that develop from the generous gift of whole-body donation. For this reason, we feel that higher education should never stop but continue throughout one’s life. Below are some examples of how the gift of donation can impact our students and our health sciences community.

  • Educating our graduate students in Athletic Training, Physician Assistant Studies, and Physical Therapy, and our undergraduate Advanced Anatomy students with exceptional knowledge and dynamic understanding of the human body.
  • Advancing new techniques or devices for sustainable patient health care by our local healthcare community of doctors, nurses, physicians, physician assistants, and other medical professionals.
  • Developing cutting-edge medical training for our emergency responders, military professionals and more.

Can another institution in North Carolina use a gift if it has been willed to High Point University?

Yes. The Willed Body Program will reserves the right to transfer a gift to another educational institution located in North Carolina for enhancing health sciences through educational instruction, research and medical training methods.

We will do our best to make sure that your gift is used at High Point University, but should the program feel the identity of the donor would be at risk, then we reserve the right to donate the body to another local Willed Body Program.

How long will a donation be retained by the Willed Body Program?

The Willed Body Program may retain a donor’s remains for a period of three weeks to two years before cremation occurs and final disposition is made.

What will happen to any personal effects?

High Point University’s Willed Body Program will collect any personal effects arriving at our Care Center and place all items in a secure area. We will contact the authorized representative(s) to return the items by certified mail through the U.S. Postal Service or by a scheduled appointment with the Willed Body Program.

What happens to the body following the completion of studies?

Upon completion of studies, High Point University will transport donors to a locally contracted crematory licensed to operate under state law for cremation. All donors are individually cremated.

What happens to the cremated remains following cremation?

Following the return of cremated remains from the contracted crematory, the Willed Body Program will review the signed Document of Gift and follow instructions to either:

Return the cremated remains to the appointed representative(s),in an urn, in the order determined by the donor in the document of gift.

*Inter the cremated remains in High Point University’s future Willed Body Program Memorial Garden located at High Point University.

Scatter the cremated remains at sea in the Atlantic Ocean.

*Currently, the Memorial Garden has not been established and will be constructed at a future date to be announced.

Is there an annual memorial service?

Yes. To show our reverence and to thank the generous donors, their family and friends, the Willed Body Program invites all to join us at our annual Memorial Service.  During the service students, faculty, and the community will have an opportunity to express what each gift meant for them. It is our hope that comfort and peace will touch the hearts of all who attend.

Can cremated remains be exhumed from High Point University’s memorial garden?

No. Cremated remains are buried each year prior to our annual memorial service. All donors whose studies have been completed and have chosen burial will be interred together in a (unmarked) vault. Under no circumstances can a donor’s remains be exhumed from the burial plot.

Can a report of medical findings or details of specific studies be released to an authorized representative(s) upon completion of studies?

No. It is not the responsibility of the Willed Body Program to report any medical finding or details of specific studies that were related to the donor.

Should I have someone contact the Willed Body Program when death is imminent?

Contacting the program is not required, however it can be reassuring during a difficult time to talk to our dedicated staff about the process that will take place following death. We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to answer your questions. 

What happens at the time of death?

At the time of death High Point University’s Willed Body Program should be notified at 336-841-LIFE (5433) to determine if the donor, can still be, or is a candidate for our program.

Our dedicated staff, available 24 hours a day, 365 days year, will review the requirements for acceptance with the legally authorized person. Upon acceptance, we will coordinate for the transportation of the donor at place of death to our on-campus Care Center for anatomical preparation for the program.

All notifications of death should occur in a timely fashion, no more than 24 hours after death, unless authorization has been made by the Willed Body Program to allow for additional time.

 

What happens if a donor dies after normal business hours or on the weekend?

Our dedicated staff is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  At the time of death High Point University’s Willed Body Program should be notified at 336-841-LIFE (5433)  to determine if the donor, can still be, or is a candidate for our program.

Upon acceptance, we will coordinate for the transportation of the donor at place of death to our on-campus Care Center for anatomical preparation for the program.

 

What happens if a donor did not preregister with the program?

If a donor was not registered with the program the legal next of kin or agent of the decedent must complete a Document of Gift by Legally Authorized Person form, and submit the form along will all required signatures to High Point University’s Willed Body Program prior to full acceptance into the program. This process can be done electronically or in person.

What do I do if my loved one is already located at a funeral home?

If a donor has died and is located at a funeral home please have the Funeral Director call the Willed Body Program to schedule the transfer of the donor into our care. High Point University will not be financially responsible for any fees incurred by the donors appointed representative that is outside the scope of our agreement.

Can a public viewing or funeral service be held before the donor’s body is delivered to High Point University?

No. Because we want to uphold the wishes of the donor, it is not possible to have a public viewing or funeral service prior to donation to High Point University. All donations must be transferred into our care within 24 hours of the donor’s death.

 

If the donor is located at a funeral home and the family wishes to have a private viewing of the donor prior to transportation to High Point University, the family can do so as long as the funeral home is in compliance with the donors’ wishes, and transportation is made to the University in a timely manner.

 

All additional services selected by the family at a funeral home will be at the expense of the family. High Point University is not responsible for additional charges.

Can a memorial service be held for the donor?

Yes. We encourage families to hold a memorial service either at a selected funeral home of choice, or at a destination that was special to the donor. High Point University will hold an annual memorial service, but we still encourage families to hold their own celebration of life.

 

All additional services selected by the family at a funeral home will be at the expense of the family. High Point University is not responsible for additional charges.

Can my remains be viewed at the Program Facility?

No. If this is the wish of the family, please contact your local funeral home to assist you with viewing arrangements prior to transportation to High Point University. All donations must be transferred into our care within 24 hours of the donors passing.

Does High Point University’s Willed Body Program provide certified copies of the death certificate?

No. If no funeral home is used, High Point University’s Willed Body Program will only file an original certificate of death with the Register of Deeds as required by law. Family may purchase certified copies of the death certificate by contacting the Register of Deeds in the county where the death occurred.

How do I get a certified copy of the death certificate?

A person can obtain certified copies from the Register of Deeds in the county where the death occurred. The Register of Deeds for each county can be found at: https://www.ncard.us/find-your-register-of-deeds/. If you are unsure of which county the death occurred, please call us at 336-841-LIFE (5433) and we will be happy to provide you with the information.