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Anatomical Donation Program

The Anatomical Donation Program at Lincoln Memorial University-College of Dental Medicine deeply appreciates your interest of bequest.

The LMU-CDM Anatomical Donation Program is a "Whole Body" gift program instituted for the study of human anatomy. This program will provide body bequeathal information to anyone who is of sound mind, eighteen years of age or older and desires to give his or her body to the LMU-CDM Anatomical Donation Program.

Our goal here at LMU-CDM is to provide the best education possible for our future dentists and hygienists. Your unselfish gift will help establish a solid educational foundation for our students of dentistry. The education provided by you, to our students, will endure far beyond the scope of this program. Your gift will also give future physicians the ability to help others and teach others as they go out and pursue their own careers. Dignity and respect are ALWAYS our highest priority next to the quality of education your gift provides.

Anatomical Donation Program Coordinator
Lincoln Memorial University-College of Dental Medicine

LMU Tower

1705 St. Mary St. Knoxville, TN 37917

  •   Acceptance

    Unfortunately, there are some health conditions that will make the body unacceptable for anatomical study. The anatomical donation program at LMU-CDM reserves the right to decline a donation based on the conditions of the remains at the time of death. The following are some examples for declination:

    - Contagious diseases (MRSA, hepatitis, HIV, etc.)
    - Autopsy
    - Atrophy
    - Mutilation (car accident, etc.)
    - Advanced decomposition
    - Organ donation (other than cornea)
    - Extreme obesity
    - Missing limbs or major organs
    - Had recent major surgery
    - Facility at capacity
    - Any condition of the body that deems it unacceptable for anatomic study

    We will not accept a gift at the time of your death if there are strong objections from family members.

    Therefore, it is strongly recommended that alternative arrangements be in place in the event that your donation is denied by the program.

    The gift to the program can be canceled at any time if the Pre-registered donor chooses to do so. It is recommended that a written request be sent to the address on this website to remove yourself from the program.

  •   Information for Survivors


    At home: Contact the attending physician, if not reached, contact the coroner's office in the county of death or police department. Once the deceased is released, the next-of-kin or executor should contact the dental school for transport.

    At hospital or care facility: Personnel at the facility will contact the proper authorities. Once the deceased is released please contact the medical school for transport.

    Outside servicing limits: If death occurs outside of the servicing limit of the medical school, we will do all we can to assist the family in finding another institution in need of donors near to where the death occurred.

    Transport: After the medical school has been contacted by the next-of-kin, arrangements will be made for transport of the deceased from the place of death to the funeral home servicing the medical school.

    Time of study: Research and study may be conducted for up to two years at the Dental School.

    Completed Studies: Once studies are complete, remains are cremated and ashes are either sent back to the family or can be interred by the University according to the policies of the LMU/CDMAnatomical Donation Program.


    In the event of the donor's death, the Anatomical Donation Program at LMU-CDM should be notified immediately by phone at 865-338-5755 during normal business hours (M-F, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). After hours and or weekends please phone 865-338-5755for transportation of the body to the institution. Transport outside the designated service area of the program will not be covered by the University. Within the limits set forth by LMU-CDM, transportation costs will be covered by LMU-CDM.

    In the unfortunate event, the donation is declined by the program alternative arrangements should already be in place.

    Unfortunately, in order to meet the criteria for Anatomical donation the deceased cannot be held for memorial services. Families are free to hold memorial services without the body present as they wish. Additionally, each year faculty, staff, and students will hold a ceremony to recognize donors. Families and friends are welcome to attend. Donor families will be notified in advance of the memorial ceremony.

    The University will not be financially responsible for ceremonies held outside the program.

    All remains will be cremated. There are no exceptions. The cost of cremation will be paid for by the University.

    You can feel comforted to know that respect, dignity, and security of your loved one is our highest priority. Donors are ALWAYS handled with the highest degree of professionalism.

  •   Anatomical Donation Program FAQs
    Will my family or I receive any payment for my donation to the program?

    No, it is unlawful to exchange money for anatomical donations.

    Are there age limits to be a donor?

    You must be 18 years or older and of sound mind. There is no upper age limit.

    How far away can I be when I die and still donate my body to the Medical School?

    The servicing limits for LMU-CDM are within 150 miles of Harrogate, TN.

    How much will the donation cost my family or me?

    All expenses are paid by the University from transportation (within our service limits) at the time of death to final disposition. However, the University will not be financially responsible for any arrangements made outside the program's guidelines (e.g., memorial service).

    Who should I tell about my wishes to be a donor?

    A copy of your donor form should be given to the next-of-kin or executor to ensure that your wishes are carried out, as well as informing close family members of your wishes and who to contact in the event of death.

    Are there any factors that would disqualify me from donating my remains to the University Dental School even though I am on the donor list?

    Yes, certain factors would disqualify someone from a donation;

    - Autopsied
    - Extreme obesity
    - Mutilation of remains (car accident, etc.…)
    - Advanced decomposition
    - Missing limbs or significant organs.
    - Infectious diseases such as, but not limited to HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, and MRSA
    - Facility at capacity
    - Atrophy
    - Any condition of the body that may deem it unacceptable for medical study. For example, loss of limbs or major surgery just prior to death

    If I am an organ donor, can I still be admitted to the Anatomical Donation Program?

    No, the remains are deemed unacceptable for anatomical study after organ donation. However, we do encourage you to consider organ donation first. Eye donation does not disqualify someone from this program.

    Suppose my wishes are to donate my body to the LMU Anatomical Donation Program, but after my death my family objects to my pre-registered wishes to donate. Will you still accept the donation?

    No, we will not challenge your family's wishes; therefore, the donation will not be accepted by our program.

    Can my family contact the school about any medical findings?

    No, we do not perform autopsies, nor can we disclose information about findings during or after the course of study. The mission of this program is to give our students of medicine a hands on learning experience in the study of human anatomy.

    If I become a donor, how long will you keep my body?

    Studies may be conducted for up to two years

    Can I withdraw from the program at any time?

    Yes, contact the Anatomical Donation Program by mail or phone if you wish to be withdrawn from the donor list at any time. No questions will be asked.

    Can I have my cremated remains returned to my family?

    Yes, upon completion of the study, the remains will be cremated. At that time the next-of-kin or executor (or designated representative of the donor) will be contacted regarding their desire for final disposition. If there is no desire by the family to have the cremated remains returned to them or attempts to contact families or representatives of the donor is not successful at the end of the 90-day period following cremation; the cremated remains will be adequately interred according to the policies of the LMU/CDM Anatomical Donation Program.

    Can I be recognized by name for my contribution?

    Yes, a donor has the choice of either being memorialized by name for their contribution to the medical school or one may choose to remain anonymous.

    Will my family be able to visit the University Memorial Garden to donors?

    Yes, in fact a memorial service is conducted every year on campus by the first year medical students to honor donors. Families of donors are always welcome to attend. Families will be notified in advance as to times and dates of the memorial service.

    If I die and I am not a registered donor, can my family donate my remains to the medical school?

    Yes, the next-of-kin or executor to the estate may sign a family member up in the program. However, all surviving family members must be in agreement to the donation. If there are any objections among family members the medical school will not accept the donation.

    May my family conduct a funeral service with my body present before my body is delivered to the medical school?

    Unfortunately no, it is vital that we take possession of the body as soon after death as possible in order to ensure that proper preparation is obtained for educational study.

    What about a death notice in the newspaper?

    The family is responsible for the placement and cost of an obituary notice. The newspaper may confirm the death with our institution.

    How would my family obtain a death certificate?

    Certified copies of the death certificate can be requested from the local health department (county in which death occurred) or from the Tennessee Department of Vital Records, Nashville, TN, (615) 741-1763.

    Who should be contacted in the event of my death?

    Donors should discuss their intent to donate to our medical school with those designated to make final disposition, including next-of-kin, personal physician, hospital or nursing home. Upon your death, the physician, nursing supervisor, hospital or relative should contact LMU-CDM at 865-338-5755during normal business hours (M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). After hours or on weekends please call 865-338-5755

    If I have further questions, may I contact the school regarding my concerns?

    Absolutely, contact information is included in this packet.