Donate your body to medical science

Last updated: 9 May 2017

If you want to donate your body to medical science you must contact a university or include your wishes in your will.

Contact a university

You can only donate your body to a university. There are 5 universities in Scotland you can donate your body to:

The university you choose will give you the legal papers you need to sign. They'll also answer any questions you have.

You should speak to the university closest to you. This will save on transport costs for your body after your death.

If you have any health issues you should discuss these with the university you choose. Some health issues mean they wouldn't be able to accept your body.

Include your choice in your will

You can include your wish to donate your body to medical science in your will.

Talk about your choice

Talk to those close to you so that they can follow your wishes when the time comes.

How your body will be used

Bodies donated to medical science are used for:

  • teaching medical students
  • training surgeons
  • research into health or disease

In Scotland, you can't ask for your body to be used only for research into a certain type of health issue or disease. It might be, but the university you choose can't ensure this.

You can find out more about other options in the UK on the Human Tissue Authority website.

You can also find out more on gov.scot.

Your body might not be used by the university. It depends on whether your body matches the university's needs at the time of your death.