A Gift to Medical Science

Thank you for considering this important gift to medical science. See a list of frequently-asked questions. We hope this information on the University of Utah Health Body Donor Program will assist you in making your decision. 

The Deceased Teach the Living

A Latin reminder of purpose, Mortui vivos docent (the deceased teach the living), is found etched in anatomy laboratories worldwide. Profound as they may be, these words vastly understate the value of and the need for human anatomical material to further education and research at institutions throughout the Intermountain West.

We are living in an age of accelerated medical learning and increasing knowledge. This knowledge compounds daily and ultimately improves the quality of life of all people. During these times when medical dreams are becoming reality, more anatomical material is needed to meet the demands of medical education and research. The three-dimensional intricacies of the human body cannot be fully duplicated in books, on slides, by computers, or through the use of plastic models. The only medium for thorough study and research of the human being is the body itself.

The body donor program administered by the University of Utah Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy is one of few programs in the Mountain West dedicated to providing anatomical material for the ever-growing educational and research needs of medical science. The generosity of body donors adds immeasurably to our quality of life. Those who will their bodies to science are giving their mortal substance to contribute to the health and well being of generations to come. They extend their own usefulness far beyond the grave.

Annual Memorial Service

A memorial service is held annually, on the Friday before Memorial Day, at 11 am, at the Donor Gravesite in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. All are invited to attend. The service includes speakers, music, and congregational sharing; refreshments follow. The service is attended by the families and friends of donors as well as faculty, staff, students, and others with an interest.

2017 Service:

  • Ceremony honors 241 who donated bodies for U. medical studies (SL Tribune)
  • U., medical students express thanks for donated bodies (KSL)
  • U of U thanks those who donated bodies to science (KUTV)

Latest News


For questions about body donation please call, email, or write to:

Kerry Peterson
University of Utah
Body Donor Program
520 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112

Phone: (8 am–4 pm): 801-581-6728
Phone (after hours, weekends, and holidays): 801-581-2121
Email: bodydonor@lists.utah.edu


You can help the Body Donor Program continue to progress with even a small contribution. Give today!