Donation Process

At the Time of Death
When death occurs, a family member, hospital staff, or funeral director should notify the Anatomical Gift Program, Albany Medical College at (518) 262-5379.

The caller will be asked:

  • name of the deceased
  • location of the deceased
  • name, address and relationship to the deceased of the caller
  • whether a physician or medical staff has attended to the deceased

The Anatomical Gift Program will then arrange for the transport of the body to the Medical College. Transportation to the Medical College is provided by a licensed funeral director under contract with the Anatomical Gift Program. If the family of the deceased wishes to utilize the services of a funeral director of their choosing, any expenses and fees beyond those normally incurred by the Anatomical Gift Program will be the responsibility of the family or estate of the deceased .

Refusal of a Donation
The Albany Medical College reserves the right to decline the donation of a body when the remains are deemed unsuitable for educational purposes, where there is a family dissent, or for other reasons such as current lack of sufficient physical capability to accept additional donations. A body should not be previously autopsied or embalmed.

Conditions that may render a body unsuitable include:

  • certain infectious diseases (AIDS, Hepatitis, tuberculosis)
  • extensive trauma at the time of death
  • advanced decomposition
  • obesity or malnutrition
  • Note: from approximately December 18th through January 3rd of each year, the Program must be closed due to the temporary unavailability of certain resources necessary to its acceptance of donors' gifts. The Program will therefore be unable to accept any donor's remains during those times, and his or her family will need to make other arrangements for their disposition.

Please discuss alternate plans with your family, in the unlikely event that we do not accept the gift of your body at the time of your death.

Organ Donation and Anatomical Gifts
The Anatomical Gift Program supports organ donations. The donation of organs for transplantation takes precedence over whole body donation. Individuals who donate their organs for transplantation are acceptable as whole body donations to the Medical College provided the remaining criteria are met.