Anyone 14 years of age and over can donate their body to education and research. People under 14 can also donate their bodies with the consent of their parents or guardian (article 43 of the Civil Code of Quebec This hyperlink will open in a new window.).

Criteria for accepting a body

When a person dies, certain criteria apply in order for their body to be accepted by recognised academic institutions.

Even when a body meets all acceptance criteria, it is possible that the academic institution refuses it if they have enough cadavers at the time.

The main acceptance criteria are the following:

  • The body must not have been embalmed or undergone an autopsy. Given that the academic institution recovers the body within 48 hours of the death, it cannot be exposed for viewing
  • The body must contain all its vital organs; organ donors therefore cannot donate their body (except those who have made a cornea donation)
  • The weight of the body should be proportional to its size. The body must be that of an adult, weighing less than 90.7 kg (200 pounds) and less than 1.82 m (6 feet)
  • The body must not be deformed. For example, a body with curled members will be refused
  • The body must not have been burned or have sustained a major accident
  • The deceased must not have jaundice. The death must not have been caused by a contagious disease (Hepatitis A, B or C, HIV, septicemia, septic shock, MRSA, SARS, Clostridium difficile, etc.)

Last update: April 5, 2017


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