Can my family view my body
after death at the University of Kentucky?
No. Viewing of the donor's body by family or friends is not
possible at the University of Kentucky.
It is recommended that survivors gather at the place of death to
say their final goodbyes.
Can my family have
visitation and a funeral service with my body present at the
Yes. Survivors may request viewing, visitation and/or funeral
services with their loved one's body present at their local
funeral home. However, the University must be made aware of this
request to advise funeral home employees of special handling and
embalming procedures of the body. Under no circumstances is the
body to be embalmed before the University is contacted. The
University of Kentucky will not assume the cost of funeral
arrangements made by survivors.
What happens to my body
after study and research is completed?
It is the policy of the University of Kentucky Body
Bequeathal Program that all donors be cremated after studies
have been completed. The University of Kentucky will follow the
instructions of the individual's bequeathal form or next of kin
Bury the ashes in the University of Kentucky burial grounds,
which are currently located in The Lexington Cemetery, 833 West
Main Street, Lexington, KY. The University of Kentucky assumes
the responsibility of burial of the donor's ashes in the
University of Kentucky burial grounds only. Family members will
be notified when the ashes have been interred. To participate in
the burial option, there is a required monetary donation to the
Body Bequeathal Program.
Send the donor's ashes to a designated person, or place, within
the United States as indicated on the bequeathal or donation
form. These arrangements may be changed by the next-of-kin only.
It is essential for the next-of-kin to maintain a current
address with the University of Kentucky Body Bequeathal Program.
How long does the University
of Kentucky keep my body for study and research?
Studies may last over a period of years. It is not possible to
predict what study or research the donor's body will be involved
in and the amount of time for each study.
Is it necessary to employ a
funeral home if I donate my body to the University of Kentucky?
The Body Bequeathal Program Coordinator is a licensed
Funeral Director and Embalmer who will take care of matters
involved around the donor's death to include filing the death
certificate and notification of death to the social security
It is the family’s obligation to provide transportation of their
loved one from the place of death to the University of Kentucky.
The family may choose to utilize a local funeral home or
mortuary to provide these services. If the family directs
services to be rendered by a local funeral home, the University
of Kentucky would not assume the cost of these services.
What happens if I die
outside the Commonwealth of Kentucky?
The University of Kentucky would decline the gift or
bequeathal of the donor's body. However, we would suggest and
refer the survivors to other medical schools to which the family
could make a donation of the body.
If I have had surgery in the
past can I still donate my body to the University of Kentucky?
Yes. Major or minor surgery is acceptable if the surgery has
had time to heal.
What happens if the
University of Kentucky refuses by body?
If the University of Kentucky declines or refuses the
bequeathal or donation of an individual, it is the family's
obligation to make final arrangements. Individuals who are
considering body bequeathal may wish to make funeral
pre-arrangements with their local funeral director in the event
the University of Kentucky is not able to accept the body.
Can the University of
Kentucky refuse my body even if I have completed bequeathal
Yes. The University of Kentucky Body Bequeathal Program must
reserve the right to decline or refuse individuals for the
following current reasons:
• Individuals who have infections or contagious diseases
• Individuals who have had major recent surgery
• Individuals who are extremely obese
• Individuals who die of trauma
• Individuals whose bodies have been partially or completely
• Individuals who have been organ donors (only exceptions are
individuals who have willed their corneas only to the University
of Kentucky Lions Eye Bank)
• Individuals who die outside the Commonwealth of Kentucky
• Individuals whose family refuses to pay transportation charges
from the place of death to the University of Kentucky
• Individuals who die and have any family member who objects to
the bequeathal of their loved one's body to the University of
What are the age
requirements for Body Bequeathal/Donation?
Any individual who is a resident of the Commonwealth of
Kentucky, being of sound mind, and eighteen years of age and who
desires to give his or her body to the University of Kentucky
Body Bequeathal Program upon death may do so. There is no upper
age limit. Currently, the Body Bequeathal Program does not
accept fetuses, infants or adolescents.
Can I sell my body to
No. It is illegal in the Commonwealth of Kentucky as well as
the United States to sell or receive money for a body.
Is there any cost to me, or
my family, if I donate my body to the University of Kentucky?
Yes. It is the family’s obligation to provide transportation
from the place of death to the university. A donation to the
Body Bequeathal Program is required in order to bury ashes in
the University of Kentucky burial grounds.
Can a Power of Attorney sign
a bequeathal form on my behalf?
No. Kentucky law does not recognize the Power of Attorney
signature for the bequeathal of a body.
Does the University of
Kentucky accept benevolent gifts?
Yes. The program, as currently offered to donors, entails
significant costs. We are appreciative of any bequests, monetary
or gifts-in-kind directed specifically to the program. Should
you be interested in making a tax deductible contribution to the
program, please contact the Program Coordinator.
If I am unable or have not
signed bequeathal forms, can my next of kin donate my body to
the University of Kentucky Body Bequeathal Program?
Yes. If an individual is unable or should fail to complete
bequeathal forms prior to his/her death, the next of kin may
donate your body by completing and signing body donation forms
provided by the Program. The Body Bequeathal Program accepts
donations made by the next of kin and coroners. To be buried in
the University burial grounds, there is a required donation to
the Body Bequeathal Program. This donation will help maintain
our program. For further information contact our Program