This information is provided in hopes of answering any questions for those persons who are considering signing into the Genesis Legacy of Life donor program. If you have a question that is not answered here, please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail us and we will be happy to assist you.

Am I eligible for body donation?

Most people who choose body donation can. A person must be at least 18 years old and there is no upper age limit. The most common reasons a donation is declined are Hepatitis B or C, HIV, Active Tuberculosis, Active Syphilis, history of illegal drug use, incarceration, being severely overweight, jaundice, and major infections at the time of death such as MRSA, Staph, Sepsis, C-Diff. Please see our Donor Exclusion Criteria List.

Is the Genesis program available in my state?

The Genesis Whole Body Donor Program accepts donors from the following States highlighted in green:


  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
How can I sign into the Genesis program?

Simply fill out the Genesis Donor Consent forms which may be downloaded from our website, genesislegacy.org or, give us a call and we can send you an information packet. Once we receive your completed donor consent forms, we will reply by mail and include several donor cards for you to keep with you. We may also accept donors at the time of death even though they may not have pre-registered with us.

Can a person be an organ donor and a Genesis donor?

Yes, you can sign the back of your driver’s license, or any other Advance Directives document to be an organ donor and complete our forms to be a Genesis donor as well.

How soon after death should the Genesis program be contacted?

Immediately. It is imperative that the Genesis program be notified as soon as possible so that proper care may be given to your loved one. There is someone on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, after hours, on weekends and holidays to receive telephone calls at (901) 278-7841 or toll-free at (877) 288-4483 (GIVE). If death is imminent, you may also contact the Genesis program to advise us in advance to assist you.

Who is responsible for transporting the donor to the Genesis program at the MERI?

Upon notification of your loved one’s death, and the screening process to determine acceptance has been completed by the Genesis staff, arrangements will be made by the Genesis staff for the transportation and care of your loved one. Your family will not have to make any transportation arrangements.

How and when will I receive the death certificates?

The Genesis program at the MERI will file and pay for up to six death certificates. We will forward them to you as soon as we receive them. It generally takes between four to six weeks for the MERI to receive the death certificates due to the fact that we may be filing from a different state from where the death occurred. The completion of a death certificate is time-dependent upon many factors and individuals including the signing physician, county officials, hospitals and the county health department where the death occurred.

Can I request which type of research I would like my body donation to benefit?

Although the MERI conducts educational and research programs in all areas of medicine, it is based on the needs of the sponsors and we do not know in advance what those needs may be during the course of a donor’s stay. If you would like your donation to support a specific medical research, we suggest you contact that organization and register with their program directly. Through the Genesis Program, you can be assured that critical life-saving training, education, and research will greatly affect the lives of many people throughout the world.

How long will the donor stay at the MERI?

Donors remain at the MERI from six months to a year.

What happens when the studies on the donor have been completed?

The donor is cremated at no cost to the family. The Genesis program at the MERI makes all the arrangements for the cremation.

Is it possible to have the donor’s ashes returned to the family?

Absolutely. At the time of the death of the donor, the family may request to have the donor’s ashes returned to them. The donor’s ashes may also be interred in a mausoleum in the Memphis area.