UC Irvine's Willed Body Program supplies about 150 cadavers each year to 20 colleges and universities, primarily in Orange and Riverside counties.
The bodies are used for research and to teach medical techniques without risking human lives. After about a year, specimens from UCI's program are cremated and the ashes spread off the Newport Beach coast.
To qualify for donation, a person must be over the age of 21 and upon death the body cannot be embalmed, autopsied or weigh more than 250 pounds. Also, people who die of a contagious or infectious disease are not accepted. UCI has about 2,500 names on its donor roles. That's enough to satisfy demand for the next 10 years. By way of comparison, 18,000 have pledged their bodies to UCLA's Willed Body Program.
People usually volunteer to give their bodies to science about the time of retirement, according to UCI's Willed Body coordinator, John Evans. Donors cover the spectrum in terms of race, gender, class and religion, said Evans.
For more information about the program, call (714) 824-6061.