Enrolling in the Anatomical Gift Registry
Enrollment in the Anatomical Gift Registry is open to all Wisconsin residents aged 18 years and older. Alternatively, the spouse or next of kin of a decedent may facilitate donation of their loved one’s remains. Individuals interested in body donation to the Medical College of Wisconsin can obtain applications in one of two ways:
Fees and Administrative Costs
There is a fee for donation that helps alleviate administrative costs of the program. As of December 2021, the fee for body donation is $450. Payments cannot be made prior to a donor’s acceptance into the AGR, and an invoice is sent to the donor’s next of kin following acceptance into the program. The donation fee covers costs related to:
- Transportation of remains
- Filing of the death certificate
- Filing of the cremation permit
- Cremation costs after a donor has completed their time within the AGR
Screening and Medical HistoryWhile we make every effort to honor a donor’s wish, we must review medical history prior to acceptance of remains by the Anatomical Gift Registry. Our team will run a quick screening via the healthcare professional of registered donors upon passing to ensure donors are fit for our program.
We cannot accept donors who test positive for, but not limited to, blood-borne pathogens such as HIV (AIDS), hepatitis, tuberculosis, sepsis, and MRSA. Acceptance to the program is determined on an individual basis at the time of death. Due to limiting factors that may disqualify donor acceptance, we strongly urge donors have a secondary plan for handling remains should they be declined from the AGR.
We ask that the funeral director call us prior to embalming so our anatomical curators can instruct them on our embalming protocols.
Procedures Following the Death of a DonorThe Anatomical Gift Registry should be notified immediately following a registrant’s death by calling (414) 955-8261 (monitored 24 hours).
When the donation is accepted, we will coordinate transportation of donors to our facility. Should a donor’s family wish to hold a funeral service, they can do so prior to transportation of donors to MCW.
Donors may be active within our program for ~1.5 – 3 years. Once a donor has completed their progression through the program, cremated remains can be returned to their family. If a family chooses not to have donor ashes returned, they will be interred in our MCW plot at the local Wauwatosa Cemetery.