An image of a student and faculty in OUWB's 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: the BDP primarily accepts applications that are initiated and completed by the donor.
  • Second-Party Donations, aka Next of Kin Donations (initiated by an individual other than the donor): The BDP may accept a donation initiated by an attorney-in-fact (i.e., person who has legally been given Power of Attorney) for the donor, who signs donation papers during the donor’s life. Alternatively, a spouse, child, or parent may make a donation after death.
  • Communicable Diseases: Any individual recently diagnosed to have a communicable disease (e.g., Hepatitis B or C, HIV and MRSA) is not eligible for donation to the BDP.
  • Weight Limitation: The BDP reserves the right to decline donations of individuals who exceed 250 lbs. at the time of death, due to equipment limitations.
  • Please be advised that it is possible that at the time of donation, your donation may be declined under the guidance of the staff who prepares and cares for each donor.
  • Autopsy: If the Coroner requires an autopsy, the BDP will still accept a pre-registered donor. If the donor cannot be used for educational or research purposes, the donor will be sent for cremation, i.e. not used for educational purposes. If a party other than the Coroner requests an autopsy, the BDP may not accept the donation.
Can I donate my body AND be and be an organ donor?

Removal of the organs at the time of death would make whole-body donation impractical. Eyes, however, may be donated and arrangements should be made with the eye bank at the same time as your application for body donation.

May I change my mind?

Yes. You reserve the right to cancel at any time by a phone call or letter to the Body Donation Program. The program forms that have been completed, will be returned to the donor and all information will be removed from the BDP database.

What happens at the time of death?

At the time of your death, the person or institution in charge of your body should call Oakland University William Beaumont (OUWB) School of Medicine at (248) 370-3679 for instructions as to how to proceed. Arrangements will be made for pickup to transport your body to enable preparation for use in the School of Medicine. Preparations will be handled by Pixley Funeral Home of Rochester, MI and they will handle the pick up. All transportation costs will be covered by the BDP.

May my remains be viewed at the BDP facility?

No. The program facility is a restricted area and is not a venue 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 program. The funeral home must contact the program office (248) 370-3679 for specific instructions on the required preparation of your body.

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How are donated bodies used?

Body donations are used for education and/or research at Oakland University and *other educational and health care institutions.

  • Please note that other academic institutions must use donations under the same guidelines of care, respect and integrity. OUWB will receive the remains when the host institution has completed their use for student learning.

A donated body will be used by the BDP and others in a manner to be determined exclusively by the BDP, pursuant to the policies and procedures that are in effect at the time of the donor’s death or as they may be revised thereafter. When making a donation, the donor, their survivors and/or responsible parties cannot designate the use(s) to which the body will be put nor the persons or entities that will use the same.

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 when the studies of the body are completed?

Upon completion of the use of the body, the BDP will arrange for the remains to be cremated. After cremation, there are two options:

  1. The representative designated by the Donor on the registration form will be notified by mail that the cremated remains (known as 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. We will not handle dividing cremains.
  2. If the Donor doesn’t designate a representative, the BDP will arrange for the cremains to be interred at the OUWB School of Medicine Mausoleum at Mt. Avon Cemetery in downtown Rochester, Michigan, during the annual OUWB Donor Memorial service.
How long will it be before my family receives the cremains?

The BDP reserves the right to use the donated bodies for up to 3? years.

What happens to my donation if I move away from the SE Michigan area, or if death occurs out of state?

If you pass away within lower Michigan, you may still have your body transported to the BDP. We cannot handle transportation from out of state, so if you or your family/estate wish to transfer your donation to another program/medical school in your new area, please contact the BDP and we will be happy to assist in this process.

Is there an annual memorial service?

Yes. Students, clinicians, and researchers who have had the opportunity to learn from the donations hold an annual memorial service. All donors who passed away in the previous calendar year will be recognized at this special occasion. Family members, or other representatives, noted on the donation form, will be invited to attend.


Donor Registration Form

Please find the donor registration form here.

Next-of-Kin Registration Form

Please find the next-of-kin registration form here.


Helena Schmitt, Body Donation Program Coordinator

  • Phone: (248) 370-3679
  • Email:
  • 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