Body Donation

Many generous and public-spirited people feel that they would like their body to be of use after their death. One of the ways in which a body can be of use is to donate it for medical education.

At the University of Liverpool we teach, study and research the nature of the internal structures and function of the human body. Such use is essential for medical students, trainee doctors from various medical and surgical specialties, and other healthcare professionals to understand the inner workings of the human body, in order to improve their practice and learn crucial skills for the benefit of patients.

In addition to their instructional value, donated bodies are also used by clinicians in specialised training courses.

Our work is regulated and licensed by the Human Tissue Authority www.hta.gov.uk who ensure that human tissue and organs are used safely and ethically, and with proper consent.

Giving consent

Under the Human Tissue Act 2004, written and witnessed consent for anatomical examination must be given prior to death. Consent cannot be given by anyone else after your death. Having power of attorney does not qualify your relatives to make the decision to donate a body on your behalf.

If, having carefully considered the information provided, you decide to proceed, the Body Donation Information Pack contains detailed information for yourself and your next of kin/executor (p8). Also enclosed in the pack are two consent forms for you to complete and have witnessed (p12).
Guidance is provided for your options on decisions about consent (p9).

Please note that no guarantee can be given that a bequest will be accepted at the time of death (p3).

Please do get in touch if you have a question about body donation. The Bequeathal Office is open Monday to Friday 9am till 4.30pm.
0151 794 5442
body-donation@liverpool.ac.uk

Organ Donation and Body Donation

Organ donation changes in the law

From 20 May 2020, organ donation in England will move to an 'opt out' system.

This means that all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die unless they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the exluded groups.

This legislation was introduced in Wales in December 2015.

Most people do not die in circumstances that make it possible for them to donate their organs. In fact, only around one in 100 people who die in the UK are usually able to be donors. Donors are typically those who have died in a hospital intensive care unit or emergency departmnt. (Source: organ donation NHS)

Can I be on BOTH the organ donation register and body donation register?

Yes. If after their death, the person is found unsuitable to be an organ donor, it may be possible for body donation to a medical school to be taken forward by relatives, solicitor or executor of the Will; as long as valid consent is in place.

What are the timescales for organ donation and body donation?

Organ donation needs to take place within 24-48 hours of death. (Source: organ donation NHS)

Body donation needs to take place within 4 days.

Where can I find more information about organ donation?

Read more about organ donation, the changes in the law, and how to register here.