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Donating Body to University Medical School.


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Please move to a more appropriate forum if not suitable for "HEALTH and Medicine".

 

My 90 y.o. friend made formal arrangements, years ago, to donate his body to a hospital medical school in Khon Kaen on his death. Now he feels he's approaching the end of his life, he checked to make sure arrangements were still in place. He was told that the hospital can no longer take the bodies of foreigners because of "problems with embassy", something they couldn't or wouldn't elaborate on. 

 

I can't see why his embassy - UK - would have any objections to or interest in him making such a donation after death. He has no children, no UK family, nobody to make claims on him. His Thai wife is his next of kin. I don't think he's made a Will in which he could specify donation of his body since he has nobody to inherit his estate except his wife so that's taken care of by Thai inheritance law. His wife agrees to his donation. 

 

A forum search resulted in a Chiang Mai forum recent thread on the same subject that suggested donation by a foreigner IS possible and a hospital in the north-east is specifically mentioned in one post. 

 

Is there, in reality, a restriction on taking foreigners' bodies? Is it up to individual hospitals to accept or reject foreigners? Is the hospital basing its rejection on out-of-date instructions from the government?

 

Of course, they might be rejecting him because of age without actually saying as much.

 

I've been thinking of doing this myself but if the restriction stands, there doesn't seem much point. 

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Each hospital will have a policy of what bodies they will accept.

 

Below is an example from Bangkok, Mahidol University.

 

The Uk Embassy’s procedures are on this site and before a body is released the embassy will need to issue a letter of release.

 

All deaths in Thailand need to be signed off by a police investigator, before the Amphur will register the death and issue a certificate. Many times the police are unwilling to sign anything without a post mortem. If a person dies in hospital from a known long term illness, it is sometimes possible to avoid the post mortem. Hospitals generally don’t want a body after a post mortem.

 

I wish you and him luck finding a hospital that will accept the body, but I would suggest having a plan B, for a simple cremation if you do not find one.

IMG_2432.jpeg

 

Edited by Georgealbert
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I do not believe that there is any restriction, however many blood tests have to be performed (On the deceased body) before it can be 'donated'.   Not every medical practitioner knows how to do this. 

 

It's probably best to contact the hospital in the 'North East' to get their take on it.  Maybe rules have changed? 

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Found a 2017 research study on body donation to KKU, not sure if this has changed, but found little else for KKU online.

 

“As KKU has the only Body Donation Unit in Isan, cadavers and skeletons are supplied to the other Isan institutions teaching medicine or allied health sciences (Ubon Ratchathani University, Mahasarakham University and Suranaree University of Technology), one University in northern Thailand (Phayao), and occasionally institutes in other areas of Thailand”

 

“Body donation at KKU is administered by the Body Donation Unit in the Department of Anatomy. Bequests are now accepted from the age of 18 years and donations are also accepted from next-of-kin at the time of death on a case-by-case basis. Donors are accepted only from the Isan region, both for logistical reasons and because this area provides sufficient donations to meet demand“

 

“Registration as a donor involves completion of an application form that must be witnessed and includes details of the person, usually next-of-kin, who will take responsibility for informing the Body Donation Unit of the donor’s death. Registration will not be accepted if the donor is suffering from a communicable disease, has anatomical defects such as a missing limb, has suffered severe injury in the past or weighs less than 40 kg or more than 100 kg.

 

When a registered donor dies, it is the responsibility of the next-of-kin to inform the department, as the Body Donation Unit does not monitor the deaths of registered donors. Once a report of death is received, the Unit takes responsibility for retrieval of the body. Ideally this will occur within 24 h, although the department may agree to allow the family to retain the body for up to three days with the proviso that it be kept cold.”


https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0940960217301504

Edited by Georgealbert
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There have been previous reports of ex-pats being told; 'We don't accept foreigners'. I have seen a 65 year age limit on body donor application forms. The forms are, of course, designed for Thai's. Sorry to be blunt but the body won't be a fit state for donation if it's been transported on the bed of a pick-up in 40 degrees. In addition, delays with release paperwork will make matters worse. Can fully understand why Thai medical schools would prefer not to accept foreign cadavers.

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About three years ago I was told that no medical school in Thailand will accept any foreigners. But! The Thai Red Cross said they’ll accept foreigners who will donate all their organs and then they will create the body after they’re done. It’s only in Thai so you have to get a Thai to arrange where to send the forms. Someone will have to interpret for you and you will have to sign the form. I keep the card in my wallet and had the power of attorney person take a picture of it. 

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2 hours ago, kawikasudo said:

About three years ago I was told that no medical school in Thailand will accept any foreigners. But! The Thai Red Cross said they’ll accept foreigners who will donate all their organs and then they will create the body after they’re done. It’s only in Thai so you have to get a Thai to arrange where to send the forms. Someone will have to interpret for you and you will have to sign the form. I keep the card in my wallet and had the power of attorney person take a picture of it. 

Wow! That's great! Many thanks for your information. Shows that things do change and we need to keep up-to-date. Had given up myself (too old and too heavy). Found this; unfortunately, the upper age limit for organ donation/whole cadavers is 65. https://chulalongkornhospital.go.th/kcmh/en/body-and-organ-donations/  

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3 hours ago, kawikasudo said:

The Thai Red Cross said they’ll accept foreigners who will donate all their organs and then they will create the body after they’re done.

organs from a 90+ year old corpse?

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Isn’t this the part where you contact the UK embassy on his behalf to obtain a document reassuring the anatomy department that he is truly okay with this and that there won’t be any legal or familial issues?

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8 hours ago, kawikasudo said:

... The Thai Red Cross said they’ll accept foreigners who will donate all their organs and then they will create the body after they’re done ... 

I like the thought of the Thai Red Cross creating a body.

 

I'm sure you meant 'cremate' though 🙂 

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