What is a Whole Body Donor Program?
A Whole Body Donor Program is a term that typically describes an organization that functions as a final disposition
of a dead human body for purposes of serving medical science and education. AGR is formally, and uniquely,
classified as a licensed Non-transplant Anatomic Bank, a Tissue Bank, as well as deemed a Whole Body Donor Program.
Are there any restrictions in participating with the AGR program?
Yes. Donors must be at least 18 years old and cannot be more than 85 years old when they register. AGR cannot accept those individuals that have tested positive for contagious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis, Creutzfeldt-Jakobs Disease, and Meningitis. Also, those individuals weighing over 300 lbs at time of death cannot be accepted and we are unable to accept donors with a low or high BMI (Body Mass Index). In addition, AGR cannot accept donors that are in a state of decomposition and Medical Examiner's cases may not be accepted.
What kind of license do you need to have to run a Whole Body Donor Program/Non-transplant Bank?
Most States do not require tissue banks obtaining bodies and tissue for non-clinical use to hold a license. However,
some States do wish to offer donors and their families assurances and protection from wrong-doing by having licensing
requirements. AGR is licensed as a Non-transplant Anatomic Bank through the State of New York. Tissue Banks holding
a New York Non-transplant Anatomic Bank license are subject to strict regulations, oversight, inspection, and yearly
reports of activity.
Do you recover tissue for transplant?
Yes. AGR is the only organization that evaluates donors participating in its own Body Donation program for potential
tissue for transplant recovery. AGR is permitted by the State of Maryland, and the State of New York, and the Food
and Drug Adminstration (FDA) to recover tissue (bone, skin, and soft tissues) for transplant therapies. AGR will only
recover tissue for transplant purposes with permission of the legal next-of-kin of the donor. AGR is not an Organ
Bank, but does support and encourages your desire to be an Organ Donor as well.
Can I still get cremated remains?
Yes. Since AGR uses cremation as a standard practice of disposal, remains can be made available to the donor families.
These remains typically constitute a portion, or portions of the body not used for study. Unlike other programs offering
this option, AGR utilizes its own crematory and does not contract out to other organizations for this service. AGR has
increased its size to include two cremation units further reducing any delay in the return of remains. There are no costs
associated with the cremation process and remains can be shipped to you for a nominal fee.
Can I find out what research was done with my loved one?
Yes. We offer a follow-up letter that lets you know which medical research and education programs benefited from the donation.
Does the funeral industry support Body Donation?
The growing popularity of this option has had an effect on how many Funeral entities view Body Donation. AGR typically
utilizes Funeral Homes and Mortuary Transportation Services to assist us with the transportation and filing of the necessary
documents. In addition, the rapid return of remains to loved ones can allow families to still have a service. These
factors have had a great impact on the Funeral Industry's perspective. Most Funeral Homes and Morticians understand
that it is the donors, and their families, who make the decision regarding the disposition of their body following death.
The scientific and medical benefits to mankind cannot be ignored and most Funeral Homes will support this decision.
How can I be assured that my body, or that of my loved one, won't be abused or profited from?
This is an important question. It is no secret that recent events with some organizations have violated the public trust.
Many individuals and organizations providing this service have scrambled to combat the rumor and suspicion surrounding these
events by touting themselves as 'experienced and different'. It is the strict adherence to the guidelines set forth by
the UAGA and NOTA (Public Law 98-507) as well as the effective regulations associated with licensing that will ensure that
an organization's practices are in the publics' best interest. In addition to unwavering adherence to the above regulations,
AGR only provides tissues to those organizations that have entered into a binding agreement prohibiting the sharing and
redistribution of donated material and most importantly observance to a Tissue Use Policy ensuring the ethical use and
handling of specimens. It is important to note that many companies can claim adherence to standards similar to those
followed by AGR. Familiarize yourself with the above stated regulations and make an educated decision.
Can I visit your company?
Yes. AGR can accept visitors, by appointment, for a full tour of its facilities. We believe maintaining the public trust
includes such access.
Click Here To Donate