For many, there is no greater final act of human kindness than choosing to donate their bodies for medical research. Hutchens Funeral Homes believes strongly in the selfless act, and we are happy to assist those families who choose to participate.
We offer our families two options for gifting your body to science.
1.) Donation at the moment of death (cost free)
The first is a cost-free option. This option is only available at the time the death occurs. When death occurs, your family will make an appointment to meet with us, and together we contact our donation provider to determine if they can accept your donation. There are several reasons they may not accept the donation, such as certain contagious diseases or other conditions that may exist. If our provider accepts your donation, they will pay all expenses related to the donation. The family is responsible for the cost of death certificates, obituaries, memorial services or any other merchandise or cash advance items. When the provider has completed the use of your gift, your family, if they wish, will receive the cremated remains usually within 60-90 days.
2.) Choosing donation ahead of time (cost involved)
The second option is gifting your body to one of our local medical/chiropractic schools here in St. Louis, namely Washington University and St. Louis University Schools of Medicine and Logan Chiropractic. The eligibility paperwork to donate to one of these institutions must be done in advance. There is a cost to this choice because these schools do not pay our charges. If you are interested in donating to one of these schools, contact us and make an appointment. We will help enroll you in one of the programs. These schools also have acceptance criteria that can only be determined at time of death. So, even if you have enrolled with one of these schools, they have the right to refuse your donation based upon certain diseases and conditions. Your family will not receive the cremated remains when the school has completed their research.
In the event that your donation is refused at the time of death, you should have a back-up plan ready for your family to implement. Discussion of the backup plan ahead of time could save your family from difficult decisions should your gift be refused.