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Anatomical Gifting in Connecticut

Given the time of year, it seems appropriate to visit the topic of anatomical gifting in Connecticut. In Connecticut, any person eighteen years of age or older may execute a document that contains health care instructions, appointment of a health care representative, designation of a conservator of the person for future incapacity, and an anatomical gift. The preparation of such health care instructions, including anatomical gifts, is fairly standard in establishing an estate plan as it is one of the documents that is in effect during one's life.

In making an anatomical gift, a person may designate whether he or she is gifting any needed organs or parts, or specify which organs or parts are included in the gift. In addition, a person may limit the use of the anatomical gift to only organ transplantation or research, or expand the donation to include transplantation, therapy, medical or dental education, research, or advancement of medical or dental science.

However, some people may wish to go further and donate their entire body to a specific medical school in Connecticut. Those schools are: UConn School of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, and Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, all of which accept donated bodies. Most medical schools have forms to fill out to make such a gift during life, with instructions about how to proceed at death. The completed medical school forms can then be incorporated by reference into the rest of the health care instructions.

Whether you are considering making an anatomical gift or donating your body, it is important to talk to your family and friends about your wishes.