Who benefits from this type of donation?
Future health professionals and researchers at the University of Waterloo will benefit greatly from this generous gift. Students in programs such as kinesiology and optometry all learn anatomy using bequeathed donors.
How do I obtain the forms necessary for declaring my intent to donate?
Form A is available for download online at Form A: Declaration of Intent to Bequeath One’s Body (PDF). Please print this form, complete the required information and make several copies for your records. A copy of this form should be readily accessible by your executor and/or loved ones at the time of your death. You may also want to provide a copy to your family physician and lawyer.
Mail or email a copy of the form to:
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave West
Alternatively you can request a copy of Form A to be sent to you in the mail. Please contact Tamara Maciel at 519-888-4567 ext. 33717 to provide your mailing address.
If I sign Form A, does this guarantee that my body will be accepted by the University of Waterloo at the time of my death?
Unfortunately, no. We cannot consider acceptance of an individual until the time of death. There are some situations and medical conditions that may result in the school being unable to accept a donation. Please see the section regarding Suitability for Donation.
Additionally, your executor or next-of-kin must be in agreement with your wishes. We ask that the family of a potential donor be entirely in agreement with this generous donation. If some members of the family are uncomfortable the University may choose not to accept.
The signing of Form A is not a legally binding contract. Just as the University may not be able to accept a donation, it is also your right to change your mind at any time.
The executor named in your will has the ultimate authority to consent to your body donation. In the event that you leave no will, your legal next-of-kin has the authority to bequeath your body.
What makes a donor unsuitable for acceptance at the School?
Do I need to work with a funeral home?
Yes. We do require you to work with a funeral home. You may choose any funeral home that you are comfortable working with. The funeral home will register the death with the city and will transport the body to the University.
What costs are involved in donating a body?
It is the responsibility of the family of the deceased (or the estate) to cover the cost of registration and transportation to the University. There are no additional charges once the donation has been accepted.
What if I want to be an organ or tissue donor?
This is another great way to contribute to society at the time of death. Unfortunately, in most cases this would preclude you from also participating in the body bequeathal program.
Organ and tissue donation is facilitated by the Trillium Gift of Life Network. They can be reached at:
Trillium Gift of Life Network
984 Bay Street, Suite 503, Toronto, ON M5S 2A5
Can I be assured that my remains will be handled properly?
Yes. All bodies bequeathed to the University of Waterloo are treated with the utmost dignity and respect. We have a sign on the wall of our laboratory that reads:
"You are now in the presence of those who have given their bodies for the advancement of science. Please treat them with the respect which is their due."
Students are made fully aware of the special privilege granted to them and understand that, by both law and obligation, they have to conduct themselves in a professional manner during their study of the human body.
When will a body be cremated?
Typically between 18 months and 3 years after death the donor will be cremated. At this time the family can choose to have the cremated remains returned to them via Parkview Cemetery.
Alternatively, there is a University of Waterloo plot where cremated remains can be buried at Parkview Cemetery. Neither of these options results in any additional charge to the family.
If the family chooses to bury the ashes privately, they would be responsible for any costs incurred.