SIU School of Medicine

Jump directly to a section:

Anatomical Donations

That the dead may teach the living

We sincerely appreciate your interest in Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and in our research and educational programs. The anatomical gift program at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine was established to assist individuals in the southern portion of Illinois who desire to make the unselfish gift of themselves or their loved ones as an anatomical donor. As an anatomical donor, you are educating future professionals by providing them with a basis of knowledge, skills and compassion that they will utilize throughout their careers in the healthcare profession. As a charter member of the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois, the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine is one of a few programs in the State of Illinois that are approved to accept the donation of individuals for anatomical research. The Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois is the legal agency representing medical institutions in the State of Ilinois which is authorized to procure, prepare and preserve anatomical gifts. By becoming an anatomical donor, you are providing a great advantage to the education and training of future healthcare professionals who in turn have the potential to touch many lives throughout their career. To develop a better understanding of the donation process, please review our Frequently Asked Questions that addresses some of the most common questions and concerns for the donation process. If you would like to become a donor or if you are considering the donation of a loved one, please review the Anatomical Gift Form (PDF) or Anatomical Gift Form (Word doc) and consult the directions which correspond with your need. While each situation is unique, the hope is that this information will provide you with a better understanding of the anatomical donation process.

Criteria for Donations

  • There is no maximum age, but donations under age 21 are accepted only under special circumstances.
  • Maximum body size is 6' 2" tall and 20" elbow to elbow.
  • Maximum weight is 200 pounds.
  • Neither bodies that have been autopsied nor used for organ donations (other than corneas) are accepted by SIU School of Medicine.
  • Individuals with any conditions that would put students at risk, including the following are not acceptable donors:  AIDS/HIV, bacterial sepsis, Hepatitis B or C, Herpes II, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, meningitis, Paget's disease, staphylococcus (MRSA) or tuberculosis.
  • Time between death and the donation may be a factor.

Funeral Directors that are assisting families with at-need donations and/or need information on what is necessary for a donation to occur, please reference the funeral directors' instruction page for details and directions concerning the donations process.

For additional information, email Justin Nehrkorn, Anatomical Gifts Coordinator, or call (618) 453-8438. For additional information or to inquire about the donation process for the northern portion of Illinois, please visit the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois website or call (312) 733-5283.

Links to forms:

Frequently Asked Questions

Anatomical Gift Form (PDF) or Anatomical Gift Form (Word doc)

Disposal of Cremated Remains (PDF) or Disposal of Cremated Remains (Word doc)

Instructions for Funeral Directors