Donating body to the FBI

I’ve never heard or seen this discussed, but I know the FBI has a certain area dedicated to display dead bodies in order to study them for forensic purposes. They are able to use this information to help them identify corpses that have been found such as how long they may have been exposed by the characteristics of the bodies in this area. I understand that the bodies are treated with respect and only certain investigators are allowed in this particular place. I’m not considering this, but would this be a sin if a Catholic donated his body for this purpose? I’ve never read a Church teaching on this.

Yes. Many of our parishioners have donated their bodies to science.

oops. I think you meant no. As in “no, it is not a sin.” :wink:

I do think however, that some consideration should be taken regarding age, and lifestyle though. I would think it quite traumatic for my kids if they saw some FBI interns hauling me off instead of putting me in the ground.:eek: But, I am indeed grateful to those who can do this. It helps law enforcement and science and medicine! All very noble and needed things.

I meant it in the context of:
We have a good and holy priest. He would not permit us to be disillusioned into doing something that is against church teaching. :wink:

FYI: you simply inform the Funeral Director of your wishes in advance. The family has a regular wake and viewing. They remove the body to the University or whatever at a later date, just as they would to the crematory if it’s not the same place.

That’s what I thought happened.

Before you do it make sure that whoever your body is donated to puts in writing they are responsible for all cost associated with the transfer. I’ve heard of situations where bodies were donated and sent back to the family when their “purpose” was done with a bill to the family for the cost of transport and such.

Your funeral director should go over all of that in advance. These things have to be decided / ironed out well before the time comes. Particularly if the surviving family objects.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit