a doctor using a tablet in a hospital setting

If you are considering whole-body donation, United Tissue Network is here to help every step of the way.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is committed to furthering medical research and education through body donation while also providing Arizonans with cost-free end-of-life options for themselves or their loved ones.

Those who register to donate themselves, or their loved ones, to UTN after death have the peace of mind of knowing that they are contributing to the ethical advancement of medical science and education while receiving no-cost cremation services.

Those who are charity minded in life can continue to be so after death by making a whole-body donation in Arizona, knowing they are positively impacting the medical research community and furthering advancement of medical devices.

Here at United Tissue Network, we are dedicated to furthering that cause.

We encourage you to learn more about United Tissue Network and to continue reading below to find out more about how you can donate your body in Arizona.

Why Donate Your Body to Science in Arizona?

Donating to United Tissue Network is an assurance that you will affect programs that focus on the advancement of Bioskills development, surgical training, and education. Because UTN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we are held to a higher standard to educate our communities about the benefits of whole-body donation.

UTN has also been accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks, which promotes and oversees the safety, quality, and availability of donated human tissue in the United States for transplant and research purposes.

So, why would a person choose to donate their body to science in Arizona rather than simply holding a traditional funeral?

The primary reason people choose donation is the desire to help advance the mission of medical research. Programs that use human tissue in laboratory settings include:

  • Physician education
  • Surgical-student training
  • Medical device research and training
  • Drug research and development
  • Emergency response training

In these settings, researchers use human tissue for many purposes designed to improve medicine for everyone. Some of the benefits of working with real cadavers in laboratories include:

  • Students can study human anatomy in detail
  • Surgeons-in-training can practice new techniques with cutting-edge medical devices
  • Researchers can study diseases and how they begin and progress

Another common question people sometimes ask us: Do the donors or their families get compensated if they donate their body to science?

Whether you’re donating your body to science in Arizona or anywhere else in the United States, there is no monetary compensation for the donation. Instead, organizations like UTN aid families by covering all the costs directly related to the donation, including the transportation fees, filing fee, two certified death certificates, and the cremation upon program completion.

Ultimately, if the medical or science industries have made an impact in your life, and you would like to make a lasting legacy in a truly unique and invaluable way, you might consider registering with United Tissue Network as whole-body donor in Arizona.

a young medical worker embracing an older patientHow to Donate Your Body to Science in Arizona

Once you’ve made the decision to donate your body towards the advancement of medical research and education after your death–or to donate the body of a loved one who is imminent or has passed–it can sometimes be difficult to navigate how it works or how to get started, but United Tissue Network is here to make the process easy.

Individuals 18 and older can start the registration process to donate themselves to United Tissue Network in Arizona by completing one of our registration forms and signing our consent forms. A Donor Services Coordinator is available to walk you through all the procedures we follow before and after your death so you know what will happen.

It begins by completing the appropriate registration and consent forms with us, all of which you can find on the right sidebar of this page.

The forms allow you or your loved one to be considered for whole-body donation in Arizona.

Note that, on certain occasions, a body may be rejected for donation due to the presence of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis.

Once we have accepted an imminent patient into our donor program, we issue a Donor Security Certificate. This document states that we will unconditionally accept the donor after death, no matter the changes in their medical history.

United Tissue Network offers our “S.E.T.” Program which provides options to register with us at different points in a person’s life:

  • Self-Registration – Individuals who are in good health and interested in donating their bodies for medical advancement. This is considered a pledge process. 
  • End of life Registration– For individuals who are at the end-of-life and receiving hospice care. This is also called the pre-approval process. 
  • Time of passing Registration – For the family or hospice worker of a deceased individual to complete the approval process.

In cases of self-registration, United Tissue Network provides individuals with donor-pledge cards that can be kept in a wallet like a credit card. The cards detail the wishes of the person to be a whole-body donor at death.

a medical worker holding hands with an older patient

When a pledged donor passes, we are contacted by their family or hospice provider to complete a medical/social history questionnaire to officially approve into a current medical program.

The purpose of the medical/social questionnaire is to obtain the most accurate information possible to the medical programs, ensuring a donor is matched with a program that will best utilize their donation.

We do not include personal, identifying information with our medical histories.

It is important to note here that a whole-body donation in Arizona does not prevent you from also serving as an organ donor.

If you have organ-donor status at the time of your death, we work with our organ-donor partners to ensure that all usable organs are donated for transplants before the whole body is transported.

How Whole-Body Donation Eliminates Your Cremation Costs in Arizona

Allowing your body or that of a family member to advance the good cause of medical science is reason enough to donate your body to science, but there is another major benefit of donating: the elimination of the costs of passing.

We mentioned above that United Tissue Network is a nonprofit, charitable organization that is committed to ensuring that medical education and surgical training in Arizona and elsewhere have the human tissue they need to continue their research.

Your donation of your body to our organization means you won’t pay anything at any point in the process.

United Tissue Network proudly handles the costs directly related to the donation, including:

  • Removal and transportation from place of passing to UTN
  • Administrative services for Death Certificate registration
  • 2 certified copies of the Death Certificate
  • Cremation upon program completion

The last point is an important one.

While cremation costs in Arizona are much lower than casket burial costs, the expenses associated with cremation may still be too high for many families to afford.

The costs of cremation in the state can start as low as $600 and go up to $3,000, with the state average lying somewhere between $1,500 and $3,000.

It’s for this reason that a whole-body donation to science can prove to be a viable funeral alternative in Arizona for many families. Once the medical community completes its research on the body, United Tissue Network coordinates the cremation and the return of the remains to the family.

The family of the deceased can choose to receive the cremated remains in four to six weeks or have United Tissue Network scatter the cremated remains at the Grand Canyon.

This is all done at no cost to you.

In that case, the benefits of donating your body to science are twofold: the gift of your body will help to advance medical science while also allowing for a no-cost Arizona funeral alternative.

United Tissue Network has provided many Arizonans the peace and comfort in registering for whole-body donation with us.

Register for Whole-Body Donation in Arizona

At United Tissue Network, we understand that death and the end of life are sensitive times for Arizona families. It can be difficult to make decisions or think clearly about anything.

We want to make the process of donating your body to science in Arizona as easy as possible.

When you register with us, you know you are making a real difference in the work of medical professionals who are striving to improve medical processes for all people. Because we are a nonprofit, we have wide acceptance criteria and can accept donors with most BMIs, cancers, and dementia.

Donating your body to science through us also eliminates cremation costs for the surviving family, an enormous financial benefit.To pledge yourself or register a loved one who is passing or has just passed, complete the appropriate form on the right. You can also contact us for more information. A donor services coordinator is available 24 hours a day at (877) 738-6111 to answer all your questions.