NYMC > Departments > Academic Departments > Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences > Cell Biology > Body Bequeathal Program

Body Bequeathal Program

This ultimate gift is recognized each May by New York Medical College during the annual Convocation of Thanks, a forum for first-year medical students to express their gratitude to the families and friends of those who donated their bodies, providing them with one of the most important rites of passage in medical school—the study of human anatomy. Through song, poetry, prose, and art, the first-year medical students communicate their indebtedness to the people they did not know in life, yet came to know intimately.

The donation of a body for medical education and research is a most commendable humanitarian act. To facilitate this donation, the following preparations must be made, and regulations followed:

  • If you are donating your own body, or the body of your next of kin, check the appropriate box. Your signature and the signature of two (2) witnesses are required.
  • Complete the Body Bequeathal - Confidential Statistical Information. The personal data requested on this form is used for statistical purposes. Complete, sign, and return this form with the Certificate for Bequeathing Body.
  • A donor card will be mailed to donors upon receipt of a copy of the signed and witnessed bequeathal form.
  • The following is a sequence of telephone numbers to be called at the time of death: (914) 594-4025 or 845-735-4849.
  • The College has the right to decline a donation due to recent surgery, autopsy, infectious disease, decomposition, or obesity.

New York Medical College will pay the Funeral Director's expenses for transportation if within a 100-mile radius of the Valhalla campus. All expenses relating to death certificates will be the responsibility of the donor's family and/or estate.

  • If you wish to donate your eyes to an eye bank, please contact The Eye Bank for Sight Restoration, 120 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005-3902. Telephone: (212) 742-9000. This would not prevent the donation of your body.

After completion of the scientific research and study (approximately 2 years from the time of death), the remains are cremated privately in a dignified manner. The Medical College holds its own memorial service each spring in grateful acknowledgment of the donation. Family members are invited. If you wish, the cremains can be returned to a Funeral Director for burial or to a designated individual (see Confidential Statistical Information sheet). Burial without cremation can be arranged through your Funeral Director at your own expense.

For additional information on the NYMC Body Bequeathal Program, please contact Cindy Moonsammy at cindy_moonsammy@nymc.edu or call (914) 594-4025.