Whole Body Donation Partnership Program

Whole body donation followed by cremation - Whole body donation can be an option that suits some families. Donating a body to a university or educational institution can benefit society by helping advance medical research and education. However, be very cautious deciding where to donate the body; find out where the body goes and with whom you are actually dealing. Please note that not all human bodies are eligible for whole body donation. Eligibility is always addressed on a case by case basis and your family should have an alternate plan, should the donation not be accepted.

Realize the difference between use of the body for education and research because they can be vastly different from one another:

  • Education - Use of the body for education generally implies the body is used in a higher education program or continuing education of experienced surgeons and physicians. The body is generally kept in-tact at all times and following the educational use, cremated in its entirety and the cremated remains are returned to the family. You might expect this process to take one to two years.
  • Research - Use of the body for research generally implies the body is dismembered and various parts are used for research by private industry and research companies. Depending on the type of program you have chosen, the various body parts may or may not be reunited with the rest of the donor for cremation and the family may or may not get cremated remains returned to them after the research. Private industry and research companies are known to pay vast amounts of money for body parts and, financially, this type of  program stands to benefit greatly from your generous donation. Unfortunately, that financial benefit is not shared with the family that offers the donation.

For many years Crown has been an avid supporter of whole body donation here in Oregon  We have developed a working relationship with two local programs that use the donation for educational purposes and return the cremated remains back to the family following the designated use.  These programs cover the cost of local transportation and cremation.

Legacy Health - "Legacy Body Donation Program"

Western University of Health Sciences - “Willed Body Program”


This is very important information regarding Whole Body Donation

Some, who claim to be “whole body donation programs”, are actually businesses that dismember, or dissect, the body and actually  sell or lease body parts to purchasers throughout the country. They call this process “Tissue Procurement.” These body parts are generally not returned. The unused body parts (usually only 15-25% of the body) are cremated (generally by a third party) and returned to the family. Some of these businesses even go so far as to advertise “Free Cremation” in order to get families to donate the body to their business. Again, educate yourself and do not agree to anything that does not meet your family’s needs or desires.

The Crown Memorial Center role in whole body donation - Crown Memorial Centers recognize the benefits to society, and the need to educate future health care professionals and train experienced health care professionals on new techniques and procedures. This can only be achieved through the generous gift of whole body donation. With this in mind, we are proud to be one of Oregon’s leading supporters of whole body donation. When we facilitate a whole body donation, there are no charges to the family unless additional items are requested at the time of death such as certified death certificates, memorial service assistance, viewing prior to donation or memorial products like urns or jewelry. There may also be situations when a family is asked to pay mileage charges if the decedent is outside of our service area.