Many people wish to make a unique contribution to the advancement of medicine by the bequeathal of their bodies for medical education and research. In recognition of this noble desire, The Trillium Gift of Life Network Act (1990), formerly entitled The Human Tissue Gift Act (1971), allows for such bequeathals at the time of death, provided there is no objection by the next-of-kin or executor.

Persons who donate their bodies to the Division of Clinical and Functional Anatomy and their families may be assured that all human remains are accorded the dignity and respect that our society customarily grants to the deceased. The entire medical and health sciences community at the University of Ottawa - professors, students and researchers - is fully aware of the special privilege granted to them by law, and honour the obligation to conduct themselves in a professional manner during their anatomical studies. The donated materials are treated, at all times, with well-deserved respect and dignity.

    Procedures for the Donation of a Body

    The necessary information and forms may be obtained by contacting the Division of Clinical and Functional Anatomy at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine or by printing the forms from this site.

    These forms should be completed and mailed/delivered to the Faculty of Medicine:

    Anatomy Act – Province of Ontario:

    Part I (by you, the donor in advance) OR

    Part II (by your next-of-kin or executor after death)

    You should retain a copy of the first form for your records, and have it readily available to your next-of-kin/executor. You are strongly advised to discuss your wishes with your next-of-kin/executor, since they must approve the body donation at the time of death.

    Your next-of-kin/executor must contact a funeral home of their choice. The funeral director will then contact the Division of Clinical and Functional Anatomy at the following numbers:

    Monday to Friday (9:00 to 16:00):

    1-888-221-2993

    After Working Hours, on Weekends or Holidays:

    If the death occurs after working hours or on weekends, please leave a message and someone will return your call during regular working business hours. If the death occurs during the holidays, our staff will return the call whenever possible

    This process needs to take place within 72 hours following the death.

    If your body is deemed acceptable for anatomical studies and space is available, your next-of-kin/executor or the funeral home representative will make the necessary arrangements for transportation of your body to the University of Ottawa. Transportation costs and all related paperwork are the responsibility of your estate or your next-of-kin/executor, and will be billed accordingly by the funeral home.

    Although bodies donated to the University of Ottawa are usually accepted, the Division of Clinical and Functional Anatomy reserves the right to refuse a body. This decision is seriously considered, but in certain circumstances it is not possible to accept a body; therefore, we recommend that suitable alternative arrangements be made prior to death.

    Some of the possible reasons for refusal of a body include:

    • Contagious disease
    • Death by accident involving major trauma, or by suicide
    • A body upon which an autopsy has been performed
    • Space limitation in the Anatomy Division
    • If organs have been removed for transplantation. The sole exception is the eyes – we will accept bodies from which the eyes have been donated. Please contact the Trillium Gift of Life Network at 1-877-363-8456 for more information.
    • Paper copy by mail: If you would like to receive a paper copy of our body donation information package by mail, please fill out the Body Donation Forms and one will be mailed to you. We send packages once a week.
    • PDF version by email: If you would like to receive a PDF version of this package by email, please contact [email protected] and one will be sent to you.
    • Fill out the forms and submit online: If you would like to fill out the forms online and submit them right away, please download and complete the Body Donation Program – Fillable form and click the submit button.
    • We have placed additional information in this Body Donation Program Information Sheet.

    Memorial Service

    The annual memorial service to commemorate those individuals whose donated remains have been cremated during the past year will take place at the Pinecrest Cemetery on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. We will have some flowers delivered to both Pinecrest and Notre-Dame cemeteries on that day for the families who wish to pay their respect.

    If you have questions, please contact the Division of Clinical and Functional Anatomy at 1-888-221-2993.

    Monument at Pinecrest Cemetery:
    2500 Baseline Road in Ottawa

    Monument at Notre-Dame cemetery:
    455 Montreal Road in Ottawa

    FAQs