Supporting the Montana WWAMI Medical Education Program at Montana State University and Health Science Education Programs throughout Montana

About the Montana Body Donation Program

Expert knowledge of human anatomy is essential for all who practice in the healing arts. Doctors, nurses and physical therapists are a few examples of health professionals who need training in human anatomy. For this purpose there is no substitute for direct study of the human body in the anatomy laboratory.

There are clear advantages to society for our future doctors and nurses to have a thorough understanding of anatomy. Simply put, anatomical knowledge increases patient safety and enhances the quality of healthcare. The Montana Body Donation Program is dedicated to accepting donations of human bodies for education in the health professions.

We at the Montana Body Donation Program are also teachers of anatomy in the WWAMI medical curriculum, "Montana's Medical School." Our students are eager to learn and enormously grateful to donors and their families for the opportunity to study an actual body. Often they refer to the donated body as their "first patient" and "best teacher."

The core philosophy of the Montana Body Donation Program is that there are no substitutes for the experience of studying the actual human body, and this study is a great privilege. We convey this philosophy to our participating institutions, and all faculty and students are charged with showing the highest respect for this gift of anatomical study. The anonymity of donors is protected at all times.

How to donate

#1 - Read the Brochure, Next of Kin Form and the Declaration of Consent form.

#2 - Contact us with any questions you may have. 

#3 - Discuss your decision with your family.

#4 - Fill out and sign three copies of the Declaration of Consent form. You will need two witnesses to also sign the Declaration of Consent forms (preferably next of kin witnesses). One copy should be sent to the MBDP, one should be kept for your records, and one should be given to your next of kin, an attorney, a physician, or a funeral home.

#5 - Contact your local funeral home and let them know you intend to donate your body. Make sure you also have alternative plans in case we are not able to accept your donation.

#6 - Inform the MBDP of any changes to your form (e.g., if you decide you no longer want to donate your body to medical eduation or you have a change of address).


The MBDP Philosophy: The Importance of Anatomical Studies in Medical and Health Professions Education