Donation Criteria

In order for the University of Minnesota Anatomy Bequest Program to accept a donation, a fully executed donation authorization consent form must be received by the Program. 

The Anatomy Bequest Program accepts the donations of individuals who are 18 years old or older. There is no upper age limit for whole body donation. 

Individuals have to be considered legally competent at the time they complete the consent form. In the case of next-of-kin donations or donations made by other authorized persons, the University of Minnesota does not typically accept the donation of individuals who were mentally incompetent due to cognitive disabilities or mental illness. The University of Minnesota considers all donations made by next-of-kin or authorizing persons on an individual basis. 

Under the terms of the Darlene Luther Minnesota Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, the Anatomy Bequest Program has the right to accept or decline a donation dependent upon the needs of the Anatomy Bequest Program and the medical and/or social history of the decedent.

While the Anatomy Bequest Program reserves the right to decline whole body donation, the following circumstances are the most common reasons for the decline:

  • The individual has a disease such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tuberculosis, or a Prion disease
  • The individual has Coronavirus (COVID-19) within 30 days of death 
  • The individual has pneumonia (other than aspiration pneumonia), bronchitis, influenza, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), sepsis, or septic shock at the time of death
  • The individual weighs more than 250 pounds at the time of death
  • There is significant family discord at the time of death or immediately thereafter
  • The condition or pathology of the remains precludes adequate and/or safe preparation, storage, or study

If the Anatomy Bequest Program declines the donation at the time of death, it becomes the responsibility of the next of kin/authorizing person to make final arrangements.