Department of Cell Systems & Anatomy

Body Donation Program



This portion of the website is dedicated to body donors, in gratitude
for their lasting contribution to the medical sciences and to humankind.


From ancient times, physicians have studied the human body, striving to unlock its secrets in order to treat more successfully the illnesses that continue to ravage humankind. For more than 500 years, this kind of study has been pursued in a scientific way, providing the principal means of introducing aspiring young doctors to the internal structure of the human body, laying a foundation for an understanding of normal bodily functions and how disease may affect both structure and function.


The practice continues today in the laboratories of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), where students of medicine, dentistry, and the allied health professions learn from the bodies of persons who have contributed their physical remains for this very specific educational endeavor. Often referred to as the ultimate charitable act, these gifts have far-reaching benefits, extending beyond the students themselves to generations of patients as well. Surveys have shown that people inclined to donate their bodies for use in medical studies do so through a strong desire to assist, in a material way, the transmission of medical knowledge across generations and take justifiable pride in their understanding of the essential contribution the gift of their bodies makes to this process.1


The UTHSCSA welcomes your interest in the process of body donation. Click here to view a series of Frequently Asked Questions and responses that address many of the basic inquiries. Also shown is the text of the actual Body Donation Form with which donors indicate the desire to contribute their bodies. If after having read the information you have questions that remain unanswered, we invite you to phone our office to discuss them (210)567-3900. You may request that will forms be sent to you, if that is your wish, by calling the same number. If you prefer to correspond with us through the mail, you may address inquiries to:


The Body Donation Program
Department of Cell Systems & Anatomy
Mail Code 7762
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78229-3900
Phone: 210-567-3900


You may also address questions or requests for forms by e-mail to: Linda Baker-Webber.


1Hurwitz, B. S., and Richardson, R.: "Profile of Whole Body Donors for Dissection." Clinical Anat., 9:418-419, 1986.