Patients in your care face intense challenges which can range from depression and anxiety to unrelenting physical pain and social isolation. Hospice and professional caregivers help patients and families understand their treatment plans. Serving as advocates for patients and their families their work is critical in honoring patients with terminal illnesses and preparing them for what’s next.
The patients also rely on these specially trained professionals to help them learn more about end-of-life issues and options. As the interest in whole body donation continues to grow, so does the need for being able to counsel patients on this end-of-life alternative.
Research For Life works with a wide variety of health and senior care organizations. We provide the resources and information to help a patient navigate through the registration and whole body donation process.
We are a no-cost AATB accredited whole body donation organization that serves as the link between donors and the medical researchers and educators that need human tissue to advance science and medicine.
We were the first to initiate a Guaranteed Donor Program. This program guarantees that, after registration, a donor is accepted at the time of death even if their health conditions should change.
There is never any cost to the donor or their family for the services we provide. Research For Life covers all expenses related to: transportation, filing of death certificate, cremation and return of the cremated remains – either direct return to the family, spread at sea or no return.
Please note, we do not register donors outside of our current service area which includes the state of Arizona and, excluding some rural areas, Southern California.
If your organization is interested in learning more about Research For Life and body donation contact us today to schedule an on-site presentation. Please complete the presentation request form below or call 800.229.3244.
Pre-registration is not required if a death is imminent or has recently occurred. Please call us at 800.229.3244 our staff is available 24/7/365 and ready to assist you and the patient’s loved ones.
Hello, my name is Garland Shreves, CEO of Research For Life. I want to take a moment to discuss some very basic information with you regarding consent forms, in general, that you may encounter when considering to donate to a whole body donor organization.
First and foremost, you need to understand and read the consent form, also known as the authorization form or document of gift, so you know what you are consenting to. Ask questions of the organization if you don’t understand something.
All states require, under the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, that consent be granted by an authorized agent of the donor or self-authorization before death.
Each state defines who in the consenting class has the most authority to direct donation. Such as the medical power of attorney, spouse, children, grandchildren, siblings, etc. and differs slightly in each state.
Consent may be given by means of a verbal recorded consent or by a written document of gift.
Research For Life uses a written consent form which can be found on our website.
Understand that the donor or authorizing agent is giving the body to an organization. Once given it belongs to the organization to use in accordance with the consent form.
In other words, the donor organization is free to use the donor provided it does so within the terms
of the consent, it may not use the donor in a manner not consented too.
The consent may state how the body may be used. Educational and/or research purposes or some other purpose may be stated or in the discretion of the donor organization.
Research For Life provides cadavers and/or anatomical specimens for education and research purposes and does not do ballistic testing.
The consent may state that the body will be used in whole or in parts. It may also state that the anatomical parts may be used domestically and or internationally.
And most consents will cover some basic things like consent to test the donor for diseases and order medical records to help best determine the medical suitability for the donation.
The consent may also touch on issues like for profit or nonprofit status and if the donor or anatomical specimens will be used by one or more or both types of entities. Remember that regardless of an organizations tax status they all charge fees to end users who order anatomical specimens and offer those specimens to both for profit and nonprofit entities.
From the very start of the donation process costs to the donor organization begin. 24-hour answering service, transport team to respond 24/7, qualified trained staff paid a livable wage with benefits and retirement, electric, gas, phone, insurances, building payments, maintenance, medical director, and regulatory requirements, and cremation fees. And these are just some of the expenses that an organization may have to cover.
Another item you may see on most authorization forms is a release of liability, a hold harmless agreement, excluding misconduct of course.
Research For Life states clearly it will not and donor or agent agrees that Research For Life will not be held responsible for acts of third parties in connection with the donation.
Another item that reduces a donor organizations liability is the Anatomical Gift Act prohibits criminal, civil or administrative actions provided there is no intentional misconduct on the part of the donor organization. In other words, if the donor organization acted in good faith it is immune and provided some protection from lawsuits.
Another important part on a consent form is the person signing the authorization attests (affirms) that they have the authority to direct the donation. The donor organization accepts the authorizing agent’s authority in good faith barring any information known to it at the time of donation that would contradict the authority of the person authorizing donation.
Remember, should you decide to register, tell your family and friends about your decision.
Also, the donation authorization form is not valid until notarized or signed by two witnesses; one witness must be non-family or disinterested party.
Consent forms contain other important information that you need to read and understand.
All documents of gift or authorizations can be cancelled prior to death.
I want to thank you for taking the time to watch this video and I hope it helped provide you with some basic information regarding whole body donation consent forms. Thank you.