Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine

Frequently Asked Questions

Misty Morning on Northwestern

Following are responses to some of the frequently asked questions related to body donations. For all other questions, visit the Anatomical Gift Association (AGA) of Illinois website. Contact them at 312-733-5283 or via email at info@agaillinois.org.  

Why should I consider donating my body to medical education?

Despite the advancement of technology and its increasing presence in the classroom, as of yet, nothing can truly replace the human body as a teaching tool.  Students and physicians are always mindful of and grateful for body donations and acknowledge them as a lasting contribution to their education.

I wish to donate my body to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; how may I do this?

Please visit the AGA website and follow their instructions for body donation.  You may designate Northwestern University as the recipient institution; the AGA will make every effort to honor your request.

I wish to donate a specific organ to Northwestern University; how may I do this?

At this time, the AGA only accepts whole body donations. Please visit the Media Contacts page of their website to see a list of organizations accepting tissue and organ donations (e.g., brain donation, lung donation) for research and education.

What is the procedure at the time of death of the donor?

The Donation Process page of the AGA’s website provides detailed instructions on the procedure.

Is there a cost associated with body donation?

The AGA does not charge for its services. The only cost of donation is the expense of transporting the remains from the place of death to the AGA as set and determined by the funeral director of your choosing.  In general, the donor avoids the costs of a funeral by donating his or her body to the AGA.

What assurances do families have regarding the treatment of the remains?

Medical personnel have dedicated their lives to caring for and treating people.  Their respect for life continues, and even grows, when entrusted with the remains of those that have provided such an important gift to science. It is their duty and honor to carry out the wishes of the donor and his or her family.