Department of Anatomy with Medical Imaging

Human Body Bequest Programme

About our programme

Anatomy has always been a vital part of medical training, with dissection of the human body being the essence of anatomy teaching since the Renaissance. The Department of Anatomy and Medical Imaging has the privilege of administering the Human Body Bequest Programme at the University of Auckland and has done so since the Medical School opened in 1968.

The teaching and research of anatomy is an all-important aspect of the training of our future doctors and health professionals and we are extremely grateful to people who wish to bequeath their body for this vital purpose.

Bodies bequeathed to the University of Auckland's Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (Department of Anatomy and Medical Imaging) are used in the education and training of medical students, surgeons, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses and other health professionals in the study of anatomy, scientific studies and related research. 

The process of accepting and managing bequests is governed by the Human Tissue Act (2008) and is carried out under the formal authority and guidance of the Inspector of Anatomy from the New Zealand Police.

Programme administration

Our programme is administered by the University of Auckland. We are independent of District Health Boards. Our programme does not facilitate deceased organ and tissue donation, this process is administered by Organ Donation New Zealand. For eye donation please contact, or call 24/7 on 0800 37 37 537. In some circumstance it may be possible to donate to both programmes.