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Information for

Body bequeathal

A gift today, for a better tomorrow

Thank you for your interest in the Body Bequeathal Program at the University of Waterloo. Donations to our program facilitate anatomical learning and research by future health professionals such as kinesiologists, pharmacists, optometrists, and physicians.

Your generous gift will aid in their education and will contribute to the advancement of new techniques for treating patients and disease. Such a gift would be gratefully received as a final contribution to society.

Many people wish to bequeath their bodies for medical education and research thereby making a unique contribution to the advancement of medicine. In recognition of this wish, the Human Tissue Gift Act (1971) and the Anatomy Act allow for such bequeathals, provided that there is no objection by the next-of-kin. Donation is supervised through the Chief Coroner of Ontario.

Those who donate their bodies to a School of Anatomy and the families of these individuals are assured dignity and respect that society customarily grants to the deceased. Students preparing themselves for medical and allied health professions are fully aware of the special privilege granted to them. By both law and obligation, they have to conduct themselves in a professional manner during their study of the human body.

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How do I indicate my intent to donate?

Download Form A: Declaration of Intent to Bequeath One’s Body (PDF) or contact Ms. Tamara Maciel, School of Anatomy Program Director, at 519-888-4567, ext. 33717 or tamara.maciel@uwaterloo.ca to have a copy of the form mailed to you.

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 the original form to:

Tamara Maciel
B.C. Matthews Hall, Room 0613
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave. West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1

When making your decision to donate your body to the School of Anatomy, you are strongly advised to discuss your wishes with your next-of-kin and executor. Seek their cooperation concerning your wishes. It is recommended that this is done while you and your family are in good health.

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Instructions for time-of-death

Please contact Tamara Maciel at 519-888-4567 x33717 immediately for further instructions. If you are calling outside of regular office hours (weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) please contact University of Waterloo Campus Police at 519-888-4911 and they will reach Ms. Maciel on your behalf. You can expect a call back from her within 3 hours.

It is helpful if there is a physician, nurse, coroner, or other health care practitioner available to provide Ms. Maciel with the necessary medical information.

At this time you should also contact the funeral home that you are choosing to work with. The funeral home may be able to remove the body from the place of death and they will need to meet with the family in order to gather the information needed for registration of the death.

Ms. Maciel will make the ultimate decision about whether or not the donation is acceptable at this time. For examples of reasons why a donation may not be accepted please see the section regarding Suitability for Donation.

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Memorial Service

As is customary at most schools of anatomy, the University of Waterloo hosts an annual memorial service to honour our donors. The family and friends of the donor(s) from the previous year are invited to the service to celebrate this incredible gift.

The service of gratitude is held in a chapel on the campus of University of Waterloo, typically a Friday in June. It is a brief interdenominational Christian interment service led by the Anglican Chaplain for Renison College, University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University.

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