Donating your body

Due to the current situation regarding on-going public health issues the University have taken the decision to temporarily suspend our body donation programme. This means we are unable to accept any body donations until further notice. Unfortunately we are unable to confirm when we will be in a position to re-open the donation programme, however we will review the situation daily and update our website and voice message as soon as we have any further information. We would be grateful in the event of a death that you continue to contact us on 0131 651 5996 or e-mail and we will contact you as soon as possible. There may be a possibility, where consent has been given by the donor, for consideration at another Scottish Anatomy department

body donation

If you have any urgent queries or questions, please email

Bequeathing your body to Edinburgh University after death for anatomical examination is a very generous decision which we appreciate will not have been taken lightly. 

You may be assured that, were it not for such acts of selflessness, it would be impossible to maintain Scotland’s high educational reputation in the medical professions and for this we are extremely grateful.

The Anatomy Act (1984) and the Human Tissue (Scotland) Act (HTSA 2006) regulate the use of bodies donated for anatomical examination, education or training and medical research. It sets out the legal framework for the removal, retention and lawful use after death, of human bodies and body parts.



Use of body

How your body may be used.

Declaration of bequest

If you wish to bequeath your body to the University of Edinburgh you will need to complete and sign a Declaration of Bequest form in the presence of a witness.


Reasons why a bequest may not be accepted.

What happens when you die?

Notification procedures at time of death.


Procedures once a body has been accepted.

Cremation and Burial

Options at the end of the examination period.

Annual Memorial Service

An interdenominational Memorial Service is held every year in May at Greyfriar’s Kirk to which the families of all of the donors of the preceding year are invited.


Getting in touch for further information or in the event of notification of a death.