A typical funeral including casket, interment, headstone, burial plot and services can cost in the range of $10,000.

For the privilege of using your body to teach the future doctors, dentists, physical therapists and other medical practitioners, upon acceptance, the Department will make and pay for all arrangements.
The Body Bequeathal program, administered by the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in the College of Medicine has been in operation since 1935 and, last year alone, helped over 500 students with their education.
Yes. The only limitation on expenses covered is death outside of the province.  We still can accept your bequeathal, but we will ask your estate or next of kin to assist with transportation costs. The other option is to give your next of kin information about the closest Medical College and their program.

Yes. You must be the age of majority to provide a bequeathal. Those under 18 cannot sign a legally valid bequeathal. However, in certain cases, such as imminent death, certain persons such as parents, siblings, or other next of kin of age of majority, can sign the required forms for a minor person. Older persons may donate their body as well. There are restrictions on all bodies accepted into the program based on health questions asked at the time of death.

Yes. However if major organs are removed for transplantation, your body bequeathal will be declined. The only exception to this practice would be if the cornea of the eye is the only organ removed for transplantation.
The College of Medicine, through the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology can provide you with the necessary legal forms. After you complete and return the forms to the Department, we will provide you with a donor card, which you can carry with your driver’s license or other identification. We will contact you periodically to update your file.
Yes. Since we must receive your donation within 24 hours, it is imperative that you discuss your bequeathal decision with your next-of-kin and provide them with a copy of your completed form. If you have no next-of-kin, then please inform a friend. You should provide your physician and the executor of your estate or attorney with copies of your completed form.

Yes, you may be taken out of the bequeathal program at any time. You do this making a written request to the College at the address given to you at the time of enrollment or listed on the Anatomy and Cell Biology website.

Yes. If you verbally state to any person that you wish to donate your body, such as a hospital administrator or family member, that person may complete the form authorizing the donation for you. Regardless of who completes your form, there must be two witnesses 21 years of age or older one of whom is expected to be a survivor who must sign your form.

We keep the body from 1 to 3 years. Your cremated remains may be returned to your next of kin or buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, in the University of Saskatchewan plot, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Your next of kin will be notified of the location of your grave after burial or contacted for delivery information.

You must fill out legal forms to bequeath, for forms: Please contact the Body Bequeathal Program by telephone at 966-4075 or by mail Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan 2D01 Health Sciences Building 107 Wiggins Road Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5 or by Email:donna.dodge@usask.ca.  You may also download forms at http://www.medicine.usask.ca/acb/department/body-bequeathal-program/forms/Body%20Bequeathal%20Form.pdf.  Please read the privacy information given before you sign up to be informed about how this information is used and stored.

At the University of Saskatchewan annual Memorial Ceremony, organized by the students who have benefited from the bequeathal program, bequeathal donors are honoured. The students fully appreciate that generous donors (and their families) allow future practitioners to develop a unique understanding of the human body and its form and function. They understand that without donors, their medical education would be incomplete.  The ceremony time, date, and location are sent out to the next of kin so that the family and friends may attend.

No, it is not. There are several medical reasons that make it impossible for us to accept a bequeathal.  Since the condition at the time of death is of utmost importance, we cannot accept or decline until the time of death. 

We can accept:

  • Arthritis
  • Cardiovascular disease:
    • Angina
    • Atherosclerotic heart disease (ASHD)
    • Heart failure
    • Hypertension
    • Myocardial infarction (MI) "Heart Attack"
    • Cerebral vascular accident (CVA) "Stroke"
    • Unruptured aneurysm
    • Pacemakers
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Ischemic bowel diseases
  • Kidney: Renal failure
  • Liver: Alcoholic hepatitis
    • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Lung: Chronic Obstructive Lung Disorder (COPD)
    • Emphysema
    • Pneumonia
    • Pulmonary Embolism
    • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Most cancers or lymphomas
We must decline:
  • Autopsy or Trauma
  • Degenerative neurological diseases:
    • Jacob-Creutzfeldt
    • Rapid onset dementia
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Parkinsons
  • Infections diseases:
    • Hepatitis
    • Septicemia ("blood poisoning")
    • Meningitis
    • HIV positive
    • Gangrene
    • Tuberculosis
    • C. difficile
    • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Ruptured aneurysm
  • Recent major surgery (within six months prior to death)
  • Extreme emaciation:
    • Males under 125 lbs (56 kg)
    • Females under 90 lbs (41kg)
  • Excessive size: cannot be larger than 6'3" (196cm) and/or 190 lbs (85 kg)
  • Operational Restrictions

Generally, a nurse or next of kin will contact the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at 966-4075.  The number has a 24 hour 7 day per week answering service, so time is not an issue.  The technicians will be contacted who will call back as soon as possible, but within a few hours to speak with the next of kin or nurse and ask a series of questions to assess whether they can accept the donation.  If they are unable to accept, the next of kin will need to initiate the alternate arrangements made by the donor.  If they are able to accept, they make all arrangements and will provide a statement of death within one day to your next of kin so that they can notify the bank and other agencies.

Every effort is made to ensure that online data is encrypted and kept on a firewalled server with only password access by a handful of workers.  Paper files are kept locked and only kept for the amount of time necessary to fill out paperwork for vital statistics, for burial and cremation permits, to keep track of burials, to notify the next of kin of all arrangements, changes, and the memorial service.  The College of Medicine takes the security of health information very seriously and all processes are reviewed, monitored, and remedied on a regular basis.  It is expected that each donor review the privacy statement at http://www.medicine.usask.ca/acb/department/body-bequeathal-program/privacy-statement.php before signing the bequeathal form.

Plastination is a method of preservation of organic material in order to keep it for a period of time long time.  It has been used since 1977.  In the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, this form of preservation will allow the instruction of many more students for each donation, making each donation that much more precious.

The Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology does not send out any information kept on the death certificate nor will release any such personal information because Saskatchewan vital statistics through eHealth Saskatchewan has set policies and procedures to handle that information.


Toll Free: 1-800-667-7551
Telephone: 306-787-3251
Fax: 306-787-8951

The cremated remains can be returned to the next-of-kin.

The bodies are cremated separately and the cremated remains from each body are in separate containers.

The body parts are collected and each body is cremated separately.  If you decide to allow the Department to preserve any part of your remains to be kept for a longer period, then some portion may not be cremated and buried in the same place.  There is a check box on the form you sign to indicate whether you would agree to have some part or all of your remains plastinated or preserved for a longer term, we do not assume agreement from you.

We are open from 8:30 to 16:30 (closed for lunch from 12:00 to 13:00). You can pick-up some information anytime between these hours.  Even when we are not open, though you may contact the Department by calling 306-966-4075 and our 24 hour answering service will be able to assist at the time of death.