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What to Do When Death Occurs

When death occurs, the Willed Body Program must be notified within 48 hours of the death by calling 949-824-6061. This number is active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

At the time of the initial call, the body is screened for acceptability into the program, and the university arranges for transportation from the place of death to UC Irvine School of Medicine.

Transportation is arranged as soon as possible so that the gift can be used to its fullest potential. However, we will strive to honor the needs of the family for any final viewing before we transport the donor to the university. Donated bodies cannot be viewed after UC Irvine has taken possession of them, since the preparation for use in anatomy studies may begin within hours of the body's transportation to UC Irvine School of Medicine.

When the body is received at the School of Medicine, it is first tested for infectious diseases and then either embalmed to optimally preserve the body for later study or used within a short period of time without embalming.

After studies on a willed body are completed, the body is cremated and the remains are disposed of in accordance with state code by scattering at sea. All transportation (within 200 miles), preparation, cremation and disposal costs are paid for by the School of Medicine. Because of the variety of potential uses, remains and/or cremated remains cannot be returned to the donor’s family.