Anatomical gift program brochure coverThank you for considering an anatomical gift to the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine. Your donation will serve a critical role in helping students learn the complex anatomy of the human body. The School of Medicine is dedicated to excellence in medical education, with the primary purpose of training exceptional future doctors and allied health professionals. We can accomplish this with your assistance.

Those who choose to give their bodies to our program will have a lasting impact on the education of men and women entering the field of medicine in a way that no book or new technology could.

Anatomical donations represent the ultimate gift. The need is significant, and each gift is valued and honored. Students, professors and staff treat each donation with the utmost respect and dignity.

We provide service to donors and their families that is compassionate as well as competent. Each year, to show their appreciation, medical students, professors and staff participate in a memorial service to honor these "silent teachers." Families of the donors are invited to attend.

Eligibility to Donate

Certain health conditions may cause a body to be unsuitable for anatomical donation. Some of these conditions may not be obvious until the time of death.

These include:

  • infectious disease
  • autopsy
  • obesity
  • edema (swelling)
  • emaciation
  • dehydration and liver or kidney failure

The Anatomical Gift Program accepts whole body donations and is not affiliated with any organ donation agencies. If you are interested in organ donation, please contact a local organ donation society.

A body that has made an organ donation (other than eyes) cannot be accepted.  For information on eye donations, contact the Connecticut Eye Bank at 860-223-2020.


The estate of a donor is not charged for expenses pertaining to the final disposition of the body. The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine will assume certain expenses, such as transportation and cremation.

Obituaries and certified copies of the death certificate are the responsibility of the donor's estate.

Donation Procedures

Donors are encouraged to notify family members of their bequests, and specifically that they have contacted the Anatomical Gift Program, to ensure their wishes are carried out.

At the time of death, the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine Anatomical Gift Program should be notified immediately at 203-582-6587. A licensed funeral director will assist in the removal of the body and the completion of the death certificate.

If a donor registered in our program dies at a location outside Connecticut, a medical school in that state may accept the body. If a body is not accepted, members of the family or the donor's estate should contact a funeral home or cremation service for further assistance.

The academic programs use the body for approximately 12-18 months, after which the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine supervises the individual cremation of the body by a licensed crematorium. The cremated remains are then returned to the donor's family.

For More Information

To learn more about the Anatomical Gift Program at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, located on the North Haven Campus, please contact:

James Casso
Director of the Anatomical Gift Program

Jesse Gomes
Assistant director of the Human Anatomy Laboratory