An image of students in the OUWB Anatomy Lab


OUWB Body Donation Program

Oakland University William Beaumont (OUWB) School of Medicine faculty, students and staff are grateful for your interest in the Body Donation Program (BDP). The opportunity to learn about the human body in the advancement of learning for students at all stages of their academic and professional careers is indispensable. This gift strengthens the education of medical students, postgraduate physicians and students of related disciplines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can donate?

Any person of sound mind who is at least 18 years of age.

  • Self-Donation: Application is initiated and completed by the donor.
Any donations accepted when an autopsy is performed?

When a coroner requests an autopsy, a pre-registered donation will be accepted. In the event that the donor cannot be used for educational or research purposes after the coroner’s autopsy, the donor will be sent for cremation. Donations are not accepted when an autopsy is requested by a party other than the coroner.

Is it possible to donate my body and also register as an organ donor?

Removal of the organs at the time of death would make whole-body donation impractical. However, it is possible to donate eyes. Arrangements for eye donations should be made at the same time as your application for body donation.

May I change my mind about body donation?

Certainly, you can cancel at any time by a phone call or letter to the BDP. The BDP forms that have been completed, will be returned to the donor.

What happens at the time of death?

The individual or institution responsible for your body should contact OUWB at (248) 370-3457 for instructions. Arrangements will be coordinated for the pick up and transportation of your body to facilitate preparations for use by OUWB.

Can my remains be viewed at the OUWB BDP facility?

No, the BDP facility is a restricted area and is not intended for family viewing. Arrangements for a viewing must be made in advance with the funeral home of your choice prior to transporting your body to the BDP. The funeral home must contact the BDP office (248) 370-3457 for specific instructions regarding the required preparation of your body.

How are donated bodies used?

Body donations are used for education and/or research at Oakland University and other educational and health care institutions. Kindly be aware that other academic institutions are required to adhere to the same standards of care, respect and integrity when utlizing donations. OUWB will receive the remains when the host institution has completed their use. When making a donation, the donor, their survivors and/or responsible parties cannot specify the intended use(s) for the body or designate specific persons or entities that will utilize it.

Will my family receive a report of medical findings, cause of death or details of the specific studies?

No. We do not provide any reports of pathological findings, cause of death, or details of specific studies.

What happens once the studies of the body are completed?

Following the completion of the use of the body, the BDP will coordinate the cremation of the remains. Be aware, the whole process may take up to three years. After cremation, there are two options:

  • The representative designated by the donor will be notified by email/mail that the cremated remains (cremains) may be picked up at the BDP office, or can be mailed via USPS Priority Mail. Please note that the entire cremains will be mailed to only one designated recipient. The BDP will not divide the cremains.
  • In the absence of a designated representative, the BDP will arrange for the cremains to be interred at the OUWB Mausoleum at Mt. Avon Cemetery in downtown Rochester.
What happens to my donation if I relocate from the Southeast Michigan area, or if death occurs out of state?

If you pass away in a city located in lower Michigan, arrangements can be made to transport your body to the BDP. We cannot manage transportation from out of state, so if you or your family/estate wish to transfer your donation to another program/medical school in the city where you pass away, please contact the BDP, and we will be happy to assist in this process.

Is there an annual memorial ceremony?

Yes. An annual memorial ceremony is held, bringing together students, clinicians, and researchers who have benefitted from the donated bodies. All donors who passed away in the previous calendar year will be honored at this special occasion. Family members, or other representatives, noted on the donation form, will be invited to attend this meaningful event. More on the memorial ceremony, including videos of past events, can be found here.

What are the current regulations for body donation in Michigan?

For more information on current regulations for body donation in Michigan, please click here to view the applicable portion of the state's Public Health Code. 


Donor Registration Form

Please find the donor registration form here.


Helena Schmitt, Body Donation Program Coordinator

  • Phone: (248) 370-3457
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Mail: Helena Schmitt
    Body Donation Program Coordinator
    Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
    586 Pioneer Drive
    O’Dowd Hall, Rm 455
    Rochester, MI 48309-4482