Admissions

Body Donation

The decision to make a body donation for health care education is not an easy one. Your donation will help CMCC students reach their goals to treat all patients to the very best of their abilities, and to be compassionate and successful members of the health care team. It is a gift that will last a lifetime.

Students obtain hands-on experience that brings learning full circle, and they get a better understanding of how all bodies are different. Although all humans do have the same basic anatomy, there are wide variations in how that anatomy appears and makes each person unique. The chance to learn from body donations provides students a foundation of their knowledge.

“Having the opportunity to understand the body in such a profound way leaves an indelible impression on the students, who will spend their careers treating patients based on what they have learned here,” Anatomy Chair, Dr. Myra Kumka.


Celebration of Life Memorial Plaque


In 2010, CMCC was approached by the Holtom family, to provide permanent recognition within CMCC to honour those who have made such impactful donations. CMCC is pleased to show its appreciation to those individuals who have helped us in our efforts to produce quality health care practitioners.

Memorial Service

A memorial service is held at the end of each academic year to honour those who have generously donated their bodies.

When the educational component is completed, the remains are cremated. At this point, if the family wishes, ashes can be returned to them. All that is required is that the Ashes to be Returned form is filled out by the family, donor or executor. If the family does not wish the return of ashes, they will be buried in the CMCC plot at St. James Cemetery in Toronto.

Family, friends, students, faculty and staff are all invited to attend the memorial service at the cemetery, where a memorial stone commemorates our donors’ contributions to chiropractic education and research.

How to donate

It is important to let the Anatomy Department at CMCC know of your decision to donate. Bequeathal Form (Anatomy Act Part I and Part II) should be completed by the donor or Part II can be completed by the next of kin or the person in lawful possession of the body after death.

Please download, complete and mail a copy to CMCC, and keep a copy for family records. At this time, you may also let us know whether you would like to have your name included on our Memorial Plaque to commemorate those who have generously donated their bodies for education at CMCC. The plaque is housed at CMCC. Please fill out The Memorial Plaque form The Return of Ashes Form should be retained by you to be completed by your next-of-kin or executor at the time of your death. Please fill download, complete and mail a copy to CMCC and keep a copy for personal records. All forms must be returned to CMCC, at the address at the bottom of this page.

It is important to let the Anatomy Department at CMCC know of your decision to donate. The Anatomy Act Part I (completed by donor) or part II (completed by next of kin or person lawfully in possession of the body) Province of Ontario Bequeathal Form is to be used for this purpose. Please fill download, complete and mail a copy to CMCC and keep a copy for personal records. At this time, you may also let us know whether you would like to have your name included on our Celebration of Life donor wall. The Memorial Plaque form is provided for this purpose. The Return of Ashes Form should be retained by you to be completed by your next-of-kin or executor at the time of your death. All forms can be returned to the address at the bottom of this page.

Downloadable Forms for Body Donation

At the time of death

Due to the time sensitive nature of the donation process, a traditionally held funeral service for family and friends, with the body present, is not possible. For those families who wish to have a memorial service at the time of death, we recommend a service without the body. As soon as possible, your next-of-kin or executor must contact MacKinnon & Bowes Ltd at 416 465 7508 or 1 800 268 6736. Their representatives will work in consultation with the Anatomy Department at CMCC to determine whether the body is suitable for donation and will make arrangements for transportation of the body to CMCC. At this time, if The Bequeathal Form and Memorial Plaque forms have not been completed by the donor the next-of-kin or executor must fill out Part II of the form, as well as the Return of Ashes form, and send them to the Anatomy Department at CMCC.

Please contact The Department of Anatomy for further information and forms or contact the department at 416 482 2340 ext 221.

CMCC Department of Anatomy
Body Donation Program
6100 Leslie Street
Toronto, ON
M2H 3J1


Frequently Asked Questions


1. Body Donation to the Anatomy program

Many people wish to bequeath their bodies for anatomy education and research thereby making a unique contribution to the advancement of chiropractic. In recognition of this wish, the Trillium Gift of Life Act and the Anatomy Act allow for such bequeathals, provided that there is no objection by the next-of-kin. Donation is supervised through the Chief Coroner of Ontario.Those who donate their bodies to a School of Anatomy and the families of these individuals are assured dignity and respect that society customarily grants to the deceased. Students preparing themselves for medical and allied health professions are fully aware of the special privilege granted to them. By both law and obligation, they have to conduct themselves in a professional manner during their study of the human body.

2. How to become a donor

Contact us at number, email or write to us at CMCC Anatomy Program, 6100 Leslie Street, Toronto, ON, M2H 3J1 to obtain a Body Donation form. Similarly, the form may be downloaded directly from our website, filled and mailed in. One form is to be completed and returned to the Education Program in Anatomy. A duplicate is sent to be retained and should be readily available to the next-of-kin or executor, with whom it is strongly advised the potential donor discuss their wishes. Following the death of a donor, the next-of-kin or executor must be in a position to act immediately on their behalf. Timing is crucial.

3. Who can be a donor?

Anyone may donate their body. There is no age restriction for body donation, however, illnesses and cause of death and BMI (Body Mass Index) largely determine who may actually be accepted. The suitability for acceptance will be determined as soon as possible at the time of death.

The Anatomy Department at CMCC can not accept the body of a donor until it has been deemed suitable for anatomical studies and is required by the program. All efforts to determine suitability will take place as quickly as possible before the transfer of the body to the College.

    There are several cases when we can NOT accept the body:
      Postmortem Examination (Autopsy)
    • Coroner’s Cases
    • Traumatic Cause of Death
      Infectious Diseases:
    • Hepatitis B and C
    • Septicemia ("blood poisoning")
    • Meningitis
    • HIV Infection
    • Surgical Infections including the gangrene and osteomyelitis
    • Tuberculosis
    • Clostridium difficile
    • Methicillin or Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, VRSA) positive
  • Ruptured aortic aneurysm
  • Recent major surgery
  • Very low or very high body mass index (BMI)

4. Can the estate executor make the decision for someone?

The estate executor can complete the form on behalf of the donor or rescind it, as per the wishes of the family. Part II of the Bequeathal Form must be filled out by the executor in order to donate the body.

5. Can someone donate their body to a School of Anatomy and their organs for transplant?

No. Organ donation and the body donation program are not compatible. Organ donation is not possible if a body is donated for education and research. Further information regarding organ donation can be obtained from Trillium Gift of Life Network (not affiliated with CMCC) :

Trillium Gift of Life Network

984 Bay Street, Suite 503, Toronto, ON M5S 2A5

Phone: 416-921-1130 Toll-free: 1-800-263-2833

Website: www.giftoflife.on.ca

6. What happens to a body after donation?

Typically, CMCC retains the body for a period of 24 months to three years, based on family consent. Depending on the needs of the Anatomy Department and the number of donations received, families may be asked for an extension of the donation. At the end of its educational service, family, friends, students, faculty, and staff are all invited to attend a memorial service at St. James’ Cemetery in Toronto, where a memorial stone commemorates our donors’ contributions to chiropractic education and research. Should the family wish, the cremated remains can be picked up by the next-of-kin for private burial or the remains can be interred in the CMCC plot at the cemetery.

7. What happens at the time of death?

Upon a donor's death, a physician or coroner must issue a Medical Proof of Death Certificate. The estate executor must notify McKinnon and Bowes immediately at 416 465 7508 or 1 800 268 6736. If the body of the donor is acceptable and required, McKinnon and Bowes will make the necessary arrangements to transport the body from the place of death to CMCC. Transportation costs within the GTA will be covered by CMCC. If the body is located outside of the GTA, the estate may incur transportation costs payable at the time of receiving billing from the Anatomy Department. The estate executor must provide the donor's documentation to McKinnon and Bowes for a death registration. The Anatomy Department does not deliver the body and does not process death registration.