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Can I Be an Organ Donor and Donate My Body to Science?

LifeSource will always work to honor the wishes of donors. Meeting cultural, spiritual and personal needs for care after death is one way we can honor the lives of these selfless individuals who said “yes” to helping others.

Yes. It is possible for a person to be an organ, eye and tissue donor AND donate their body to science (also known as whole body donation). However, it is important that a person wishing to do both, register for both during their lifetime. This means you should register as an organ, eye and tissue donor and find a whole body donation program in your area to register with.

From time to time, the families of an organ, eye and tissue donor wish to explore the option of whole body donation when their loved one has not registered for whole body donation. In these cases, LifeSource will do everything we can to facilitate this with a local program. The best way for a person to participate in both types of donation is to register during their lifetime.

Donating Your Body to Science

Each whole body donation program is different. Anyone interested in whole body donation should contact a local program to learn what steps are required to become a whole-body donor. Below is general information about academic donation programs in the LifeSource service area.


The University of Minnesota Anatomy Bequest Program does allow organ, eye and tissue donation to occur prior to whole body donation. The program requires a completed authorized consent form and considers donations made by next-of-kin or authorizing persons on an individual basis. Visit their website for more information.

The Mayo Clinic’s body donation program may accept donors after organ donation but evaluates these donations on a case-by-case basis. The program website states that they are not well suited for last minute donations and asks that interested parties plan ahead and complete consent forms during their lifetime. Visit their website for more information.

North Dakota

The University of North Dakota Deeded Body Program does not accept organ donors (cornea donors are okay). Visit their website for more information.

South Dakota

The University of South Dakota Body Donation Program is unable to accept organ donors to their program but strongly supports and encourages organ donation. Visit their website for more information.

Helping Now and in the Future

Organ donation saves lives. Tissue and eye donation heal lives. Whole body donation enhances education and moves our knowledge forward. All of these ways of giving are selfless acts that benefit others.