How to Donate at Time of Death

We recognize the complexity of end-of-life decisions and want to simplify the process. We are available 24 hours a day to discuss a potential donation when a death has occurred. We will talk your family through the logistics surrounding assessment and donation at that time.  No prior contact or approval is required.

  1. When death of a potential donor occurs, you may notify Wake Forest University School of Medicine at 336-716-4369, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm to determine if the donor is a candidate for our program. After hours, holidays or weekends, you may reach the program operator at 336-716-2011 and request that the operator page the on-call staff to assist you.

  2. The next of kin or authorized representative for the decedent must give consent to release the body to our program. This is accomplished through completion of the Declaration of Consent - Whole Body Release Form, available on our website and legally valid only if signed and witnessed and dated after the time of death to convey wishes for the disposition of remains. This form may be submitted via email or fax and is also available for process through DocuSign if requested at the time of donation.

  3. Once a donation has been approved for our program, the family must arrange delivery of the body to Wake Forest University  School of Medicine through a local crematory or mortuary transport service. The family or estate is responsible for the transportation costs. Wake Forest University School of Medicine will provide the cremation and return the cremated remains to the family upon request.

  4. The average time for return of the cremated remains is based in part on when the body is delivered during our academic year. We do not require immediate delivery of the body and can easily accommodate time for a viewing or service prior to delivery. We encourage you to memorialize your loved one in the manner that best suits your family’s needs. If your plans include a memorial after the cremated remains have been returned to you, please note that we cannot guarantee a specific timeframe for returning the cremated remains. Please be sure to discuss your memorial plans with our staff to ensure a smooth transition.

A listing of licensed transport services utilized by the medical examiners in Forsyth County may be accessed for information regarding transport from a different county, please utilize the drop-down menu.