Organ and body donation

Organ donation for transplant {click here for Organ, issue or corneal donation for transplant} and whole-body donation for science {click here for Whole body donation for science} are two different processes and they are handled through two unrelated organizations.

Potential donors—whether of organs, tissue, corneas or of the whole body—should be aware that registration does not guarantee that your gift will be used.  Donor suitability is determined on a case-by-case basis at the time of death, based on medical criteria.  Bodies will not be accepted for scientific purposes if organs or tissue have been recovered for transplant. 

You must yourself make the designation before death.  Discussing your decision about donation with your family is very important.  It is helpful to have registered your wishes with FCASCP on your Member Arrangements Record and with any participating funeral director.  [Correct/current?]

Organ, tissue or corneal donation for transplant
Any Pennsylvania resident wishing to donate organs, tissue, or corneas for transplant may put the donor designation on their driver’s license or state identification card.  Donors should carry the card and inform family members of their wishes.  At the time of death, a representative from the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) will speak to the next-of-kin if there is potential for donation.  After informing the family, hospital surgeons and CORE will recover organs, tissue, and corneas in a sterile operating room.  There is no cost to the donor.  Open-casket viewing following donation is totally feasible if desired. 

One organ, tissue, and corneal donor can help between 200 and 400 people.  Contact Funeral Consumers Alliance of South Central Pennsylvania [correct? Current?] or CORE{link to}  for a donor card or call 900-DONORS-7 for further information. 

Whole body donation for science
To donate the entire body to science, Pennsylvania residents over 18 should contact the Humanity Gifts Registry, P.O. Box 835, Philadelphia, PA 19105 or call (215) 922-4440.  {Click here to go to the Humanity Gift Registry website.}                                                    

Donors complete Uniform Donor Cards, available fromFCASCP or the Humanity Gift Registry {or you can click here to get the printable paper form to be completed & mailed to Humanity Gift Registry.}.  

Body donations are used by schools of medicine in Philadelphia and in Pittsburgh for physician education.  Bodies are treated with thoughtful and deliberate respect and ceremony. 

 For further information on whole-body donation to schools of medicine see Funeral Planning Resources. {click here to go to}