MND Factsheet 48 Medical Bequests

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					                                                         MND Factsheet 48
                                                         Medical Bequests
                                                                            Last Updated 10/09/2009
Many people, particularly those with                 specifically for tissue banking for
relatively uncommon conditions such as               neurological research is at Edinburgh
Motor Neurone Disease, often consider                University.    Unfortunately, for several
leaving their bodies or parts of their               reasons, the main one being the cost of
bodies to medical research or science.               transporting the body, only those who die
University anatomy departments have a                within the NHS Lothian area are normally
need for donated bodies in order to teach            accepted.     If you live within the area
medical and dental students basic                    served by NHS Lothian and wish to
anatomy, while some researchers are                  donate your brain and spinal cord for
interested in receiving parts of bodies, or          research you should contact Dr Colin
tissue samples to study the effects of a             Smith      at    the    Department     of
disease on the body.                                 Neuropathology, University of Edinburgh
                                                     Wilkie Building, Teviot Place, Edinburgh,
Leaving specific organs, such as the                 EH8 9AG; telephone 0131 651 5007. If
brain, is often referred to as tissue                you live outside of this catchment area
banking since, over time, a “bank” of                and have a strong desire to donate tissue
specific tissues is built up that can be             for neurological research please contact
compared with each other.                            Craig Stockton, Chief Executive of MND
                                                     Scotland at the address or phone number
Although this bequest might appear to be             below.
relatively straightforward, it is now a more
regulated area of activity. No longer is it          There are special arrangements for this
possible for relatives to donate the body            kind of donation and the rest of this fact
of a family member at the time of death.             sheet does not apply to you as your body
In keeping with the requirements of the              will be returned to your next of kin after
Anatomy Act 1984 and the Human Tissue                removal of the brain and spinal cord.
(Scotland) Act 2006, the arrangements
now need to be made in advance by the                To leave your body for mainstream
person themselves.                                   research and teaching you should contact
                                                     your closest medical school anatomy
If you are considering leaving your body             department at the address given at the
to an anatomy department you should                  end of this factsheet. They will provide
discuss this idea in detail with your family         an opportunity for you to meet the
in case any of them are shocked or have              bequeathal secretary so you can talk
very strong objections to your plans, as             through the process and have any
their cooperation will be required after             questions answered. If you decide to
your death.                                          continue the secretary will provide you
                                                     with notes explaining what will happen
While all of the Scottish medical schools            after your death and two copies of a
will accept bodies for teaching purposes,            bequest form which you should complete,
at the time of writing (June 2009) the only          sign and have witnessed. Apart from
Scottish medical school accepting tissue


MND Scotland is the working name of the Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Association, the only charity
    funding research and providing care and information for those affected by MND in Scotland.

  Company limited by guarantee. Registered in Scotland; Number SC217735. Charity Number SC002662.
     Registered Office 74/76 Firhill Road Glasgow G20 7BA. Tel: 0141 945 1077 Fax: 0141 945 2578
           E-mail: info@mndscotland.org.uk                  Web: www.mndscotland.org.uk
                             MND Factsheet 48 Medical Bequests

their logo and address all of the                        Major surgery, some infectious diseases,
universities use a common consent form.                  post mortem examination (ordered by the
                                                         procurator fiscal if there are unusual
After completing your name and personal                  circumstances) or organ donation might
details and those of the witness to your                 render your body unsuitable.       If the
signature there are three simple                         anatomy department refuses your
questions which require boxes to be                      donation your relatives should make
ticked. The answers to these questions                   arrangements for a normal funeral.
either grant or refuse permission for the
university to do one of three things:                    If the university accepts your body the
    • Pass your body to another                          undertaker to the anatomy department
       university if the first has sufficient            will usually uplift your body within a day.
       bodies at the time of your death                  As part of the acceptance your next of kin
       and the other is short of them,                   will be asked to do the following:
    • Retain your body, or parts of it, for                  1. sign a consent form authorising the
       longer than the three years                               use of your body for anatomical
       allowed by the Anatomy Act 1984,                          examination,
    • Permit the use of images taken of                      2. supply the Form 14 the Registrar
       your unidentifiable body or body                          will provide to whoever actually
       parts.                                                    registers your death and
                                                             3. sign an application for cremation
You should return one copy of this form to                       form (if appropriate).
the issuing department and retain the                    (See Factsheet 45 After a Bereavement
other copy for your own records. You                     for information about registering a death
should let your relatives and your medical               in Scotland.)
team know where your copy of the
bequest form is kept so that when the                    Normally the university will arrange for
time comes they can take the appropriate                 cremation or burial, according to your
actions and inform the appropriate                       wishes, with no further reference to your
anatomy department.                                      relatives. This can sometimes be difficult
                                                         for relatives.
The university will usually accept the
costs of transporting a body from within                 Your relatives may also be given the
its own area only. If your body has to be                opportunity to attend the next memorial
transported from outside this area these                 service held at the university for all those
costs will normally have to be paid from                 who have donated bodies and to have
your estate or by a relative.                            your ashes returned after cremation.

You should note there is no guarantee                    Since 2006 it has been possible for
that the university will accept your body at             medical schools in Scotland to use
the time of death as they may already                    donated bodies to train surgeons in new
have a sufficient number for their current               surgical and implantation techniques as
needs. Additionally, on notification of                  well as the traditional teaching of
your death the anatomy department                        anatomy to undergraduate medical and
which holds the bequeathal documents                     dental students.     In part these new
will contact a doctor who has been                       developments have been helped by the
involved in your final illness to ascertain              increasing numbers of bodies being
the cause of death and ensure that your                  received in recent years.
body is still suitable for their purposes.
 The information in this leaflet is believed to be accurate at the time of production, MND Scotland cannot
  give detailed medical advice, this leaflet should be regarded only as general background information.
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                             MND Factsheet 48 Medical Bequests

You should bear in mind that with no                     to be no hard and fast rules relating to the
body your relatives will not be able to hold             donation of organs by people who have
a funeral service. As this is often an                   MND or any other conditions.            The
essential part of the grieving process your              decision about whether some or all
relatives could consider holding a                       organs or tissue are suitable for
memorial service in its place.                           transplant is made at the time of death by
                                                         a healthcare professional, taking into
Organ Donation                                           account your medical history.

There are only two medical conditions                    It would be prudent, given that the precise
where organ donation is ruled out                        cause of MND is not yet known or
completely. A person cannot become an                    understood, not to donate organs from
organ or tissue donor if they have been                  someone with MND, however, practice
diagnosed with HIV or have, or are                       appears to vary across the globe.
suspected of having, CJD. There appear



      Scottish University Anatomy Department Contacts for Medical Bequests

University             Bequeathal Secretary                    Telephone                  email

Aberdeen      Mrs M Moir, Anatomy Department, School of       01224 274320      m.moir@abdn.ac.uk
              Medicine & Dentistry, University of Aberdeen
                                  rd
              The Suttie Centre (3 Floor), Foresterhill
              Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD
Dundee        Mrs V McGuire, School of Anatomy,               01382 388825      v.mcguire@dundee.ac.uk
              University of Dundee, MSI/WTB Complex,
              Dundee, DD1 5EH
Edinburgh     Mrs F Mowat, SBMS (Anatomy) Doorway 3,          0131 650 8318     fmowat@staffmail.ed.ac.uk
              University Medical School, Teviot Place,
              Edinburgh, EH8 9AG
Glasgow       Mrs A Mellish, University of Glasgow            0141 330 5397     a.mellish@bio.gla.ac.uk
              Anatomy Department, University Avenue,
              Glasgow G12 8QQ
St Andrews    Mrs S Dye, Anatomy Department, Bute             01334 463596      sd4@st-and.ac.uk
              Medical Buildings, St Andrews, Fife, KY16
              9TS (Address will change in August 2010)



Further Information

Factsheet 14           Making a Will and Leaving Legacies
Factsheet 44           Advance Directives
Factsheet 45           After a Bereavement




 The information in this leaflet is believed to be accurate at the time of production, MND Scotland cannot
  give detailed medical advice, this leaflet should be regarded only as general background information.
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