Body donation program

Registration is not  possible until further notice.


The secretariat of the Groningen body donation program can be reached on:

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 09:00 – 11:00 hrs.

Tel: 050-3616382



When you want to make your body available to science, it is necessary, according to Dutch law, to write up a personal last will in which you let know that you desire not to be buried or cremated, but want to make your body available to medical science (article 18 (1) and (19) of the Wet op de Lijkbezorging). If you are physically unable to write your own will you can request a last will from the secretariat of the Anatomy section in which you only need to fill in your personal information, date and your signature. If this is not possible, please request a last will on which your legal representative, or all your children and/or the GP will place their signature.


Upon registration you also give permission to inspect your medical file after death and you declare to have understood the information provided by us to you.

If there is no personal last will with a confirmation letter, but for example a notarial deed with a desire to donate your body, the material cannot be accepted. A notarial deed has no value in this case.

You can revoke the last will at any time. In that case we will send you a written confirmation of the revocation and return your last will.

[[Acceptance of physical remains

After you have submitted the forms, you will receive a confirmation of registration, photocopies of your order and permission to inspect your medical file. We strongly advise you to inform your nearest (n) and/or your GP on your decision.

The Anatomy section of the UMCG does not have a region or age restriction but gives priority to residents from the northern provinces (Groningen, Drenthe, Friesland, Overijssel). A maximum period of 24 hours is applied. Afterwards a body can no longer be accepted.]]


As the Dutch law regards provision as a donation, it is possible that under certain circumstances this donation (even if the will is ok) cannot be accepted. Reasons for refusal may include: death abroad, infectious diseases (HIV, TB, etc.), obesity (BMI > 35). Bodies on which section has been carried out can not be accepted for technical reasons. The refusal of a body always involves telephone consultations between the funeral caregiver and the anatomist of duty in advance. For the above reasons it is advisable to keep any funeral or cremation insurance.]]

[[Final Destination

When a body is brought into the Anatomy section, it is used for (biomedical) education and/or research. The body is completely anonymous. The body of the deceased is treated with the utmost care and respect. Eventually the body is cremated and the ash is strewn over the North Sea. It is not possible to preserve the ashes of the cremation for the surviving relatives.]]


Since September 2007 there is the possibility for survivors to commemorate at our memorial monument. The location of this monument is on the grounds of the Yarden Crematorium Groningen, the crematorium Laan 6 in Groningen. Annually the section organizes in September for the relatives a commemorative service “those who made their body available to the science”.



The transport costs of the body to and from Groningen are paid for by the diseased as well as any additional costs ( such as a declaration of death to the municipality). The costs of cremation are on behalf of the Anatomy section .]]

[[Donor codicil

A body donation is not the same as an organ donation. However, a donor codicil and a body donation can coexist, organ donation always goes first. It is also possible that a body after organ donation is no longer suitable for body donation.]]

[[Transport after death

After the death of the body donor, the survivor (s) or GP should contact the funeral care Hulsebus/Ardante in Groningen as soon as possible, telephone number 050-5251800. They work closely with the Anatomy section and can also be reached on weekends and evenings. They make arrangements about retrieving the body of the deceased. As mentioned earlier, within 24 hours of death, the body must be brought in to the Anatomy section. Of course, as far as legal frameworks permit, the utmost consideration will be given to the wishes of the survivors.]]


The funeral caregiver requests a Verlof tot Ontleding (permission to decomposit) at the Civil Registry. When the body is retrieved by the funeral caregiver, the following documents must be ready:

  • Wedding booklet, if applicable. This will be returned to the survivors after consultation by the Civil Registry.
  • Statement of a natural death, put up by a physician.
  • Copy of the will.


[[Contact details

For more information, please contact the secretariat of the Anatomy section:


Phone number: 050-3616382

Postal address: UMCG sector F, section anatomy FB 42, P.O. Box 196, 9700 AD Groningen.]]


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