Whole Body Donation


Information for the Prospective Donors of whole-body after Death

  1. JIPMER, Puducherry accepts donation of body after death for teaching and scientific research.
  1. People willing to donate their body after death must discuss about their wish with their immediate family, doctors, and other relevant people, before making the decision.
  1. To obtain WILL FORM and Donor card, an application (with phone number) should be submitted to the office of Medical Superintendent of JIPMER, Puducherry, which is located on the ground floor of Institute block, opposite to the administration block.  
  1. The WILL FORM and Donor Card duly completed by the donor should be returned to the office of Department of Anatomy, JIPMER, Puducherry, for registration.
  1. Donor Card will be returned after registering the individual. 
  2. Documents to be submitted at the time of registration of WILL FORM
    • Duly filled WILL FORM along with the consent of next of Kin (near relative)
    • A passport size photograph.
    • Identify proof of the donor (Voter card/Aadhar card).
  3. Unregistered donations will also be accepted by the Department of Anatomy.
  4. After the death of the donor, it is the responsibility of the relatives of the deceased (donor) to inform the Department of Anatomy, JIPMER, Puducherry, about the death and discuss the procedure of donation with the faculty of Department of Anatomy.
    • The Telephone number is: 04132298466
    • Timings: Monday–Friday: (09.00AM–04.30PM)
    • Saturday: (09.00 AM – 01.00 PM)
  5. If the body is accepted for donation, then the family members of the deceased are requested to bring the body to JIPMER.
  6. Please note that the donation of the body may not be accepted, if the donor has the following conditions: HIV, infective hepatitis, active tuberculosis, sepsis, gas gangrene, tetanus infection, putrefied bodies, COVID-19 positive, body after road traffic accident, medico-legal case or any other form of unnatural death. Such bodies are a serious health hazard to the medical students and the staff handling them.
  7. It is requested that any relative/friend of the deceased discuss the matter with the faculty from Department of Anatomy, at the time of death. After the faculty is satisfied with the information about the cause of death and the condition of the body etc., the donation will be accepted.
  8. Documents to be submitted at the time of handing over the body by the legal heir / near relatives/next of kin. (Registered donors and Unregistered donors)
    • A copy of Certificate of Medical cause of death (Death certificate) by registered medical practitioner in a prescribed format.
    • No objection certificate from the local police station, regarding body donation to the medical college.
    • Identity proof of the deceased donor (Voter ID / Aadhar card). 
    • Consent and Identify proof (Voter ID / Aadhar card) of legal heirs/near relatives of the deceased, who are present at the time of hand over of body to the Department of Anatomy.
  9. The dead body should be brought to the Department of Anatomy during above mentioned timings. The information of death should be shared with the Department of Anatomy, as early as possible, so that the Department can make necessary arrangements for further processing of the body. We request the relatives to make necessary arrangements to bring the body to the Department of Anatomy.
  10. The body may either be used immediately or preserved for variable periods of time for future use. After full utilization, the remains will be scientifically disposed.

Q: What is whole-body donation (Body donation)?

Ans: Whole body donation means donating of one’s body after their death to an approved medical institution for utilisation for medical education and research purpose. This decision of donating one’s body should be an informed one, out of free will, meaning that the person donating his/her body should be doing so as per his/her wish and not under compulsion.

Q: Is voluntary whole-body donation legal?

Body donation is governed by the Anatomy Act, which is “An Act to provide for the supply of unclaimed bodies of deceased persons (or donated bodies or any part thereof of deceased persons) to hospitals and medical and teaching institutions for the purpose of anatomical examination and dissection and other similar purposes.”

Q: What is organ donation? What is the difference between body donation and organ donation?

Ans: Organ donation is different from the whole-body donation. Organ donation is done by harvesting a healthy organ or tissues from one person (Donor, after brain death), for transplantation, into another person (recipient), who needs such an organ.
In contrast, in whole-body donation, the entire body is donated after the death of the person. There is a constant need for whole bodies for teaching the healthcare professionals. This priceless gift of whole-body donation can be done without any financial expenditure by the family.

Q: Can a body utilised for multiorgan donation be accepted for whole-body donation?

Ans: No. The body in which multiorgan donation has been done cannot be donated for academic purpose, because it will not be useful.

Q: Why should I consider donating my body?

Ans: Donating one’s body for progress of science is a unique and priceless gift. Donated bodies are used for teaching and training future doctors (medical students) and nurses, training the existing and future surgeons/ superspecialists in new surgical techniques, for conducting scientific research and for designing biomedical devices.
Donated bodies aid in developing knowledge and creating solutions for medical problems of tomorrow. There is an extraordinary demand for this valuable gift (donated bodies). Whole-body donation is a noble gesture, which is respected beyond any measure.

Q: Who can donate the body?

Ans: Any Indian citizen who is above the age of 18 years and eligible to give a legally valid consent can register themselves as a Whole-body donor under the voluntary whole-body donation program of Department of Anatomy, JIPMER, Puducherry. There is no upper age limit.
Next of kin/guardian/person in lawful possession of the body of the deceased can donate the body of the deceased, even though the deceased is not a registered donor.
You have to contact the Anatomy Department for the same to donate their body.

Q: Whom should I approach to register myself as voluntary whole-body donor?

Ans. Department of Anatomy is the nodal department for Whole-body donations. It is located on the ground floor of JIPMER ACADEMIC CENTRE (JAC), Building number 8, Opposite to JIPMER Cancer Hospital, Puducherry.

Q: What does one have to do for whole-body donation?

Ans: One has to fill the WILL FORM available in the Department of Anatomy and submit the same to the Department. The WILL FORM consists of declaration and consent from the prospective donor and the near relatives of the donor. Then the Department will issue a Donor Card, in which the donor and department contact details will be available.

Q: My relative is not a registered donor. Can I donate my relatives’ body after death?
Q: Can a body of the person be donated even if he/she did not fill the body donation (“WILL FORM”) form (Unregistered donors)?

Ans: Yes. You can submit a letter addressed to the Medical superintendent of JIPMER hospital, stating your intension to donate your relatives’ body. You can submit the required documents while handing over the body to the Department of Anatomy.

Q: What is the procedure to follow after the death of the donor (registered and unregistered), if the death has occurred at home?

Ans: Please note that the procedure followed for donation, if death has occurred at home and if the death has occurred in a hospital are different. So, it is important to first inform the Department of Anatomy about the death and discuss with the faculty for instructions.  The faculty of the Department will ask certain questions regarding the deceased individual and nature of death. If the faculty is satisfied, then the family of the deceased will be asked to submit the following documents, before the body is handed over to the department:
The near relative/ legal heir of the deceased has to submit the following documents while handing of the body:
a) A body donation consent form, addressed to the Medical Superintendent of the JIPMER Hospital, stating the intension to donate the body of the deceased. This written form should be submitted by the near relative/legal heir/ next of kin of the deceased person.
b) Copy of Certificate of medical cause of death (Death certificate) from a registered medical practitioner in the prescribed format.
c) No objection certificate (in original) from local police station. This no objection certificate is not required, if the donor has expired at JIPMER hospital.
d) Copy of identity proof (Voter ID/ Aadhar) of the deceased donor as well as the near relative, who is handing over the body. 
Please note:
i) If the death has occurred at the hospital, then the hospital will provide the Certificate of medical cause of death (death certificate).   
ii) If the death has occurred at the home of the deceased, then a registered medical practitioner needs to be called to the home, to declare the death and for issuing a certificate of medical cause of death (death certificate) in the prescribed format.

Q: Who will collect the body after death?

Ans: The relatives of the deceased donor have to bring the body to the Department of Anatomy by arranging their own medium of transport such as ambulance or hearse van during working hours (9:00am to 4:30pm).

Q: What are the working hours of the Department of Anatomy?

Ans. Department of Anatomy being an academic and nonclinical department, is open only during the following hours during the weekdays:
Monday to Friday: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Q: Where should I hand over the body, if I bring the body after working hours of the Department of Anatomy?

Ans: Please try to handover the body within the working hours to the Department of Anatomy. In case of any inadvertent situation which prevents the handover of the body outside of working hours of Department of Anatomy, then the body can be handed over to the Emergency Medical Services Department (Casualty department) which will be functional 24 hours, on all days of the week. On the next day working day, Department of Anatomy will take possession of the donated body from the Emergency Medical Services Department.

Q: Under what circumstances is a body rejected for donation?
Q: Who cannot donate their body?

Ans: Donated bodies are used for medical education and research purpose including anatomical examination and research. Medical professionals will be exposed to the infections present in the donated body. Hence, not all registered donations can be accepted.
The donated bodies may not be accepted, if the donor is diagnosed with following diseases:
• COVID-19
• Hepatitis B
• Hepatitis C
• Tuberculosis
• Prion Disease
• Severe trauma
• All medicolegal cases such as burns, suicide, homicide, road traffic accident and drowning
• Severely decomposed body
• Any objection to donation, from the next of kin of the deceased.

Q: How much time is given for donation after death? / How much time can we wait after death before we hand over the body to the Department of Anatomy?

Ans: The body should be sent as early as possible to the Department. Ideally, the body has to reach the Anatomy Department within 6-8 hrs after death, as the process of decomposition starts immediately after death, in the body. If there is going to be an expected time delay, then it is suggested that the body be stored in a dead body freezer box. However, after the death, we advise you to contact the Anatomy office at the earliest for further instructions and get necessary advice regarding the storage and transport of the body.

Q: Can the organs of the body be used after death?

Ans: Yes, the eyes (cornea) can be donated up to 8 hrs after death. The other organs cannot be donated after death.

Q: Can we donate the body after post-mortem autopsy?

Ans: All medicolegal cases including post-mortem autopsied bodies will not be accepted as whole-body donation, as they cannot be used for teaching purpose.

Q: How is the body preserved for teaching purposes?

Ans: The body is chemically treated with formalin based preservative solution. The preservation solution fixes the tissues of the body and prevents decomposition. This process is called embalming and it can preserve the body for many years.

Q: For how long the bodies are preserved for teaching purpose (dissection)?

Ans: It depends upon the stock availability and demand for bodies in the Department of Anatomy. Bodies are completely fixed within 6-8 months of embalming. So, the bodies can be utilised any time after 8 months. They can also be stored in preservative solution for approximately 5 years and used for academic purpose. Sometimes the bodies shall be utilized within few months of embalming for surgical skills training, which require relatively fresh body.

Q: What happens to my body after donation?

Ans: All donated bodies will be utilised for teaching anatomy to the medical students (including all allied health sciences), for conducting scientific research, and for providing surgical skills training to the surgeons.

Q: Who has access to the donated bodies?

Ans: Teaching faculty and Residents of Department of Anatomy of JIPMER, Puducherry and the 1st year students of MBBS, Nursing and Allied health sciences.
Faculty and residents of all the Surgical specialities use the donated bodies to practice and master surgical skills.
High school students sometimes visit the museum of Anatomy department in JIPMER as part of educational tour to gain first hands knowledge about the anatomy of human body.

Q: What do you do with the remains of the body after its utilisation?

Ans: The body parts will be scientifically disposed off, with sensitivity and utmost respect, based on specified international guidelines. They will either be incinerated (burnt in dedicated chambers) or buried. At all stages of its use, the body will be treated with highest order of respect.

Q: Can the body remains/ashes be returned to the relatives after the utilisation of the body?

Ans: No. It is not possible to give the body remains / ashes as per the existing protocol.

Q: Can a relative see the body after donation?

Ans: No. Once the body is donated, viewing it is not allowed.

Q: If the children/near relatives/next of kin/legal heirs of the deceased donor stay abroad, then how to proceed regarding body donation?

Ans: In these circumstances, body can be stored in a dead body freezer box at the residence of the deceased, until the near relatives reach the country. Body donation formalities can be carried out after the near relatives reach the country. Please contact the Department of Anatomy for further instructions.

Q: If one of the sons or daughters of the deceased does not agree for donation, can the donation still be done?

Ans: The body will not be accepted until all legal heirs/ near relatives/ next of kin unanimously decide about the donation. In case of any discordance, it is not possible to accept bodies owing to legal complications.

Q: Can I withdraw my registration for body donation, if I change my decision at a later point of time?

Ans: Yes. You can withdraw the registration for body donation at any point of time.

Q: I am a registered body donor. Can my near relatives object to handover my body after death?
Q: Can anyone revoke my consent to donate my body?

Ans. Yes. The next of kin of the diseased or the person in lawful possession of the body will be responsible for disposal of the body of the person after death. Hence, even though a person has registered himself as a voluntary whole-body donor, the final consent should be given by the next of kin/near relative/legal heir of the deceased or the person in lawful possession of the body.
Hence, it is important for the donor to discuss their intension to donate their body after their death, with all the near relatives, so that they will carry out the donors’ wish of body donation.

Q: Can we conduct religious rituals before we handover the body of the donor to the Department of Anatomy?

Ans: Yes, the body can be handed over to the Department of Anatomy after all the religious rituals are conducted at the home of the deceased. If the religious rituals go beyond the working hours of the Department of Anatomy, then the handover of the body should be done at the Emergency Medical Services Department (casualty department) of JIPMER.
Please discuss this with the faculty of the Department of Anatomy, beforehand.

Q: What documents are given to the relatives after body donation?

Ans: A certificate of acknowledgement and appreciation for whole-body donation will be given by the Department of Anatomy, immediately after donation, which can be submitted to the municipal corporation for registering death and obtaining the certificate of death from the concerned authority.

Q: Why there is a requirement for a ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) from the police for body donation (if the death has occurred outside the JIPMER hospital)

Ans: As embalming changes colour and chemical composition of body fluids, it will destroy all evidence of any foul play before death, if the death has occurred at home of the deceased. Therefore, no objection certificate from police is required for all cases of body donation, if the death has occurred outside the JIPMER hospital.

Q: In the case of the death of a child, whose parents would like to donate the body, is the procedure the same?

Ans: Yes. It is advised to discuss this issue with the faculty of Department of Anatomy as the scenario varies on case-to-case basis.

Q: Is it possible to donate the body of an orphan or people from old age home, where there are no near relatives/legal heirs/next of kin of the deceased.

Ans: As per the current legal provisions, only a legal heir/near relative/next of kin of the deceased or an authorised officer (Jurisdictional Police inspector) can donate the body of the deceased to the medical college, for medical education and research purpose. Please contact the faculty of the Department of Anatomy for further information.

Q: Does my religion support the concept of organ and whole-body donation?

Ans: Almost every religion including Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism supports the noble gesture of helping the humanity by voluntary organ and whole-body donation. Service to the mankind is considered as the biggest virtue of all religions. Hence, donating the body for altruistic reasons is the greatest service, one can do and be useful even after death.

Q: What are the costs involved in voluntary whole-body donation?

Ans: There are no costs involved in donation of one’s body to the medical college.

Q: Can I post or email by documents during registration or during handing over the body?

Ans: No. A physical copy of all the documents should be submitted in person during the time of handing over the body, as they need to be verified before accepting the body.