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Donation

Body Donation

The gift of one’s body is an invaluable contribution to the education of forensic anthropologists and ultimately the advancement of science. The Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State accepts body donations for scientific research purposes under the Universal Anatomical Gift Act. Your full body donation makes cutting edge research in forensic sciences and biological anthropology possible. Your gift supports scientific research, training, and professional education. The areas of research conducted with donated bodies will include
  • reconstructing the postmortem interval to determine time since death and related studies in human decomposition,
  • osteological research that advances knowledge in developing a biological profile (for example, age, sex, ancestry, and stature) and assisting in the  identification process, and,
  • advanced forensic analyses including human skeletal variation, trauma interpretation, and histological and chemical analyses of bone.
The overall aim of this type of research is to assist law enforcement agents and the medicolegal community in their investigations and to advance scientific knowledge in human decomposition, human skeletal variation, and osteological methods.

If you would like to will your body or the body of a deceased family member to the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State, please download and complete the appropriate form, discuss the form and your wishes with your family, and contact us with any questions you might have. If you would like more information about the program before you make a commitment to body donation, do not hesitate to contact us! Please send the completed forms to
Sophia Mavroudas
Coordinator, Forensic Anthropology Center
Texas State University
Department of Anthropology
601 University Drive ELA 232
San Marcos, TX 78666

 

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Financial Donation

We encourage you to support FACTS by providing a financial contribution. Your financial contribution is used to help fund our daily operations, pay for body donation pickups, and purchase capital equipment and personal protective equipment for our students, faculty, and staff. In addition, your contribution provides no or low cost body donations for individuals and families, high quality training for law enforcement, equipment for scientific research, and support students. We provide pick-up of donors at no charge to families within 200 miles of San Marcos. However, funds are needed to pay for gasoline and additional student assistantships to maintain the program. You can also make a gift in memory of a loved one. We will notify the family of your gift.

You can make a general gift or a gift in memorium using your credid card by clicking here: MAKE  A DONATON

You can make a general gift or a gift in memorium by check. Make the check payable to "FACTS" and send to: FACTS, Department of Anthropology, Texas State University, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666. Indicate the individual you are donating in memory of in the memo column.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WHY TO DONATE AND THE DONATION PROCESS

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Why should I donate my body and who benefits from whole body donations to FACTS?

The gift of your body will benefit forensic anthropologists, law enforcement agents, medicolegal death investigators, and forensic science educators. In addition your gifted body will help advance scientific knowledge in human decomposition, human skeletal variation, and osteolgocial methods used by forensic anthropologists. If you are considering an alternative to traditional funeral cremation or burial, we ask that you consider making a full body donation to FACTS. Your gift will provide numerous opportunities for training, education, and scientific research now and in the future. The gift of your body is a compassionate act that will leave a legacy of education and research for future generations.

Why should I request that friends and family make monetary donations in honor of the donor to FACTS?

In addition to body donations, FACTS accepts monetary donations to support the education, research, and outreach mission goals. We are a non-profit center that provides free pickup of donated bodies within 200 miles, free lectures on forensic anthropology to the community, conduct scientific research and education, and provide low cost forensic anthropological services. However, these endeavors are often costly and must be paid for by FACTS. In addition, the FACTS body donation coordinator position is not funded by Texas State University. Monetary support to FACTS will help us accomplish our mission and enable us to continue to provide quality free and low cost outreach and services to the community. 

Can I pre-register with FACTS Body Donation Program?

Yes, we strongly encourage individuals interested in donating their body to science to pre-register with FACTS. We also advise that you discuss your wishes with your family so they are aware that you would like your body donated to FACTS. Download the living donor or next of kin packets.

Is pre-registration with FACTS Body Donation Program necessary?

No, but we strongly encourage you to pre-register. However, consent to donate can be given by your legal next of kin. If there is more than one legal next of kin, all parties must be in agreement to donate before FACTS can accept your body.

How do I register as a donor with the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State?

To pre-register download the body donation packet, discuss your wishes to be donated to FACTS with your family, complete the packet as thoroughly as possible (do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions), and return it by

email to

Sophia Mavroudas at FACTS@txstate.edu

or U.S. mail to:

Sophia Mavroudas
Coordinator, Forensic Anthropology Center
Texas State University 
Department of Anthropology
601 University Drive ELA 232
San Marcos, TX 78666

Can I change my mind after pre-registering?

Yes. If you change your mind you may rescind your consent by notifying us. However, once a body has been donated and received by FACTS it will remain in the Texas State Donated Skeletal Collection for perpetuity.

Can I donate body parts or just the whole body?

Yes. We strongly encourage you to donate your whole body, but FACTS will accept donations of body parts that include skeletal elements and cremated remains in some circumstances.

What will happen at the time of my passing?

Upon death all that is necessary is for someone to notify FACTS (FACTS@txstate.edu; 512-245-1900). A trained representative of FACTS will assist the next of kin through the donation process including coordinating transportation and signing any necessary authorization forms, and verifying information for the death certificate.

Who is eligible to donate their body?

FACTS accepts donations regardless of age, location, body weight, stage of decomposition, trauma, surgical history, and most causes of death. FACTS does not accept donations from individuals with infectious diseases (those that can be transmitted from person-to-person) such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or C, active tuberculosis, or active syphilis. Unlike most anatomical donations, FACTS will accept autopsied bodies for donation.

What is the cost to the family?

We will arrange for transportation of the body within 200 miles of Texas State University. Beyond 200 miles, the family will have to make arrangements to have the descendent transported to FACTS or sent to Austin, TX by aircraft.

Who is the legal Next of Kin?

The closest relatives of a deceased individual, as defined by state law, are considered Next of Kin. Please contact us if you have questions about the legal next of kin. FACTS strongly suggests that you discuss your wishes to be donated with your legal next of kin before death.

What if I am in another state when death occurs?

FACTS will make reasonable effort to accept a donation from anywhere in the United States. However, the family will need to have the body transported to Austin, TX by aircraft or make other arrangements.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL USES OF DONATED BODIES

How is my body or Next of Kin body used for research and education?

FACTS uses your gifted body for forensic anthropological research related to determining the postmortem interval (time since death) and related studies in human decomposition. After decomposition, your skeletal remains will be processed curated in perpetuity into the Texas State University Dontate Skeletal Collection. This collection is used for research and education in osteological methods and human variation.

Can I specify the research I donate to?

FACTS will make reasonable efforts respect the wishes of individuals donating their body to Texas State University. We also will make reasonable efforts to assure that all body donations and skeletal remains are used only by qualified researchers with quality research proposals. However, FACTS cannot guarantee the results obtained by the research.

Do you charge researchers or permit tissue brokering?

FACTS adheres to all federal and state legal requirements through the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, which prohibits the buying or selling of human organs and tissue. FACTS charges reasonable fees for services provided to researchers for the processing, preservation, quality control, and transportation of human remains.

Are donor records confidential?

FACTS protects the confidentiality of its donors. All donors are identified by an internal identification number that is used in all communications with researchers to protect the confidentiality of the donor and end-users. FACTS only allows qualified researchers with strong scientific research proposal to utilize donated bodies. All researchers and educators using donated bodies at FACTS must complete a stringent application and agreement with FACTS, and follow confidentiality procedures to ensure your privacy and the privacy of your family.

What happens to my body in the future?

Unlike many full body donations, FACTS does not cremate or return your body. Your skeletal remains will be processed upon completion of decomposition and securely stored at our research laboratory facility. Your skeletal remains will be used by numerous qualified researchers to answer critical and timely scientific questions in human skeletal variation, osteolgocial identification methods and more for years to come. All researchers and educators using bodies donated to FACTS and the forensic anthropology research laboratory must complete a stringent application and agree to follow strict protocol and procedures.

Can I visit the body of my next of kin?

Yes. Please contact the FACTS Coordinator to make arrangements to visit the Grady Early Forensic Anthropology Research Laboratory. Visitation to the Forensic Anthropology Research Facility is not permitted, but once the skeleton has been processed next of kin can request to visit.