NADO Council Addresses Recent Funeral Home Criminal Conduct

January 23, 2023

The American Association of Tissue Bank’s (AATB’s) accredited non-transplant anatomical donation organizations, or NADOs, of the NADO Council would like to address the recent news story involving a Colorado-based funeral home that was conducting several criminal practices while operating a rogue whole-body donation program.
We would like to remind the public of the critical importance of ethical and legal body donation for the advancement of medical science, research, and education. These donations are essential for providing both immediate and long-lasting educational opportunities for medical professionals to save lives and improve patient care.
We would like to assure the public that accredited and licensed organizations, such as those listed on the AATB website, operate under strict guidelines to obtain informed consent or authorization from the donors themselves or their legally-authorized loved ones for the donations. These organizations have strict requirements regarding who may receive these donations and how they may be used, ensuring that the donations are used for only those specifically approved purposes that meet requirements for scientific and educational merit.
In contrast, the operations of the individuals recently convicted for their crimes included abhorrent practices, and their actions result in tarnishing the reputation of the entire donation industry. It is our hope that people will still feel safe and secure in their decisions to donate to science through reputable organizations, who will ensure these gifts are treated with the dignity and care they deserve and placed to worthy causes for the benefit of mankind.
We highly recommend that prospective donors and those researchers and educators who need these precious gifts investigate the donation organization’s reputation and transparency before becoming victims of unlawful and unethical practices.