We owe a tremendous debt to the individuals and families who have chosen to participate in this program. We also welcome your questions and concerns as you consider this important choice.
What is Whole Body Donation?
The Whole Body Donation Program at Wake Forest School of Medicine serves the instructional needs of our students and current providers by facilitating the use of donated human bodies for teaching purposes. The program enables current and future health care providers to gain invaluable hands-on experience, whether in preparing to treat patients of today or those of tomorrow.
Whole-body donations enable courses, procedure-training events and research studies that help health care providers to:
- Develop or advance new therapeutic procedures
- Save lives
- Develop new medical devices
- Develop new methods of treatment to lengthen and improve patients’ quality of life
First responders providing medical aid for local and regional law enforcement teams, as well as military personnel and medics, also benefit from hands-on training in the center.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, Whole Body Donation at Wake Forest School of Medicine does not require pre-registration. When donor families contact our program after death occurs, we will do a brief assessment by telephone and provide a one-page form for the next of kin or assigned representative to sign. Program staff is available around the clock to receive your calls and make this assessment with an immediate decision. Contact us at the time of death at 336-716-4369.
The best way to prepare your legal next of kin and/or primary care providers to follow your wishes at the time of death is to provide them with materials that explain the procedures for donation. A copy of the checklist and consent form will guide your representative(s) and healthcare provider(s) through the required steps for donation at the occurrence of death.
The state of North Carolina has clear statutory guidelines regarding who will hold authority for the disposition of remains at the time of death. The best way to determine who will make those decisions for you is to designate Health Care Power of Attorney and record that choice in your medical record(s). Lacking that designation, it is helpful to ensure that your healthcare provider(s) have a copy of our program material available. Our printed program brochure also includes a paper card for your wallet that provides clear instruction to first responders and healthcare personnel to contact for donation at the occurrence of death.
We are available at 336-716-4369 from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday to address any questions and concerns about participation in our program.For contact surrounding a death that occurs outside operating hours, you can reach a member of our staff through the Wake Forest Baptist Health Services operator at 336-716-2011. We are available for those assessments 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.