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.

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

If, at the time of death, Part I of the Donation of Body form has not been signed, the wishes of the deceased can still be honoured. The estate executor can complete the form on behalf of the donor.

5. Can the estate executor prevent someone from being a donor even if that person has signed a donation form?

Yes. A signed donation form is only an indication of a potential donor's wishes. It is the responsibility of the donor to ensure that he/she discuss his/her wishes with the estate executor.

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

If a person wishes his/her body to be bequeathed to a School of Anatomy, only the eyes can be donated as a tissue gift for transplant.

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

7. What happens to a body after donation?

The length of time a donor stays with CMCC is variable. Typically, CMCC retains the body for a period of 24 months to three years. Depending on the needs of the Anatomy Department and the number of donations received, families may be asked for an extension of the donation. The cremated remains can then be picked up by the next-of-kin or the option to be interred.
A memorial service is held at the end of each academic year to honour those who have generously donated their bodies. The remains are cremated and the ashes are buried in the CMCC plot at St. James’ Cemetery in Toronto. If the family wishes, ashes can be returned to them. Family, friends, students, faculty, and staff are all invited to attend the memorial service at St. James’ Cemetery, where a memorial stone commemorates our donors’ contributions to chiropractic education and research.

8. What happens at the time of death?

Upon a potential 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. Transportation costs (including any additional mileage outside the greater Toronto area) will be billed to the estate of the donor payable at the time of receiving billing from the Anatomy Department. The estate executor must provide the donor's documentation to McKinnon and Bowes agent for a proper death registration. Anatomy Department does not deliver the body and do not process death registration.

9. Who is acceptable?

CMCC cannot 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 prior to the transfer of the body. There are some conditions which we are unable to accept.