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Utah Office of the Medical Examiner

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For Families

Tissue, Organ, and Body Donation (Families)

What organs or tissue can be donated?

Persons received by the OME are screened by tissue recovery agencies. After their review and determination that a person would be a suitable donor, a call will be made to the next of kin to obtain permission for recovery and to obtain necessary social and background information. Some tissues, such as corneas, may be recovered without permission from the next of kin provided that the deceased had been placed on the donor registry previously, for example when a driver’s license is renewed.

Organ donation, such as kidneys or a liver, would be recovered in a hospital setting prior to arrival at the OME. Tissues (such as skin, bone, corneas, heart valves) may be recovered within a certain time frame after death provided certain conditions and criteria are met. You may also be asked about donation of tissues for research purposes.

Can I donate the whole body to a teaching facility?

Whole body donation is possible after death to teaching facilities, such as the anatomic dissection lab for the University of Utah’s Medical School. Individuals who have had recent surgery, trauma or any degree of autopsy dissection will not be accepted for this program.

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