Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to donate?
We are committed to accepting 100% of all interested donors in the state of Illinois. We accept all donors regardless of age, BMI, disease status, medical history, social history condition of remains, or any other qualifier, at no cost to the estate or next-of-kin.
Even if a donor was sick or was in an accident?
We will accept any donor. There are many conditions that may make a donor unacceptable for medical research and education, including: HIV+, history of Hepatitis B or C, other conditions such MRSA, severe sepsis, gangrene, etc., extremely high or low BMI, excessive decomposition, or major trauma to the donor’s body (such as death by severe impact or fire).
What happens to the body after you accept it?
Once the donor has passed away, please contact us immediately, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, at 847-220-8757. Upon completion of authorization documents, we will make arrangements with a licensed funeral director to transport the donor to our facility.
When the donor arrives, an evaluation is completed to determine if the donor is a viable candidate for research. Blood samples are collected and shipped out to a national lab to test for HIV, Hepatitis B & C. Once the donor clears testing, they are transferred to our partner for processing and use in research and education programs.
If the donor is unable to be accepted by research programs, it will be cremated with no expense to the next-of-kin and without revealing confidential medical information to loved ones.
What is the cost of your service?
The estate and next-of-kin will never be charged by Lamplight Donor Services, unless they opt to receive a Death Certificate, which will be provided at cost.
There is no fee? What’s the catch?
There is no catch — Lamplight accepts many costs related to accepting donors, including transportation from the coroner’s office or place of death, serological testing, filing of the death certificate, state-mandated permits, and the cost of shipping cremated remains. None of this expense will ever be charged to the family.
How can you afford to accept all donors?
Lamplight Donor Services is a for-profit organization with a commitment to helping Illinois families and giving back to the community. For that reason, we absorb expenses related to whole-body donation, regardless of whether the donor is viable or not. In our commitment to be the most compassionate company in this industry, Lamplight will not refuse any donation.
Other donation programs frequently have stringent requirements for a donor’s health history and body condition. If a donor is initially accepted into other programs, and later found to be ineligible for donation, the next-of-kin again becomes responsible for the remains and expenses related to transport and cremation. This is not who we want to be.
In our commitment to be the most compassionate company in this industry, Lamplight will not refuse any donation. To be clear, not all donors will be viable for research, and in those instances the donor will be sent directly to cremation without any cost to the estate or next-of-kin.
How does Lamplight differ from other services?
Other donation programs frequently have stringent requirements for a donor’s health history and body condition. If a donor is initially accepted into other programs, and later found to be ineligible for donation, the next-of-kin becomes responsible for the remains and expenses related to transport and cremation. This is not who we want to be. If a donor is not viable for research, the donor will be sent directly to cremation without any cost to the estate or next-of-kin.
I’m registered to be an organ donor. Will I still be eligible to donate?
Is it possible to have a service prior to donation?
Yes. We accept embalmed donors. Please let us know about your plans, and we will arrange for transport from the funeral home.
Why should I donate my body?
There are a lot of reasons to become a whole-body donor: altruism, environmental consciousness, furthering medical science, making use of a precious resource, and cost; to name a few. In order to best serve our donors and their families with these goals, the service has no cost and we aim to make the process as simple as possible.
How do I obtain a death certificate?
Please let us know if you’ll need us to provide a death certificate or any copies and they will be mailed to you at cost.
Will my family receive my cremated remains afterward?
All next-of-kin are given the option to receive a portion of the cremated remains. Typically cremains are received within 3-6 months after donating and will be shipped in a cardboard box. Next-of-kin also has the option of providing an urn of their choice to Lamplight for encapsulation and return of ashes.
We ask for $40 to reimburse the shipping costs for cremains. If this expense will cause financial hardship, any next-of-kin may request a waiver from this expense.
When should I register and let you know of my plans?
If you are thinking about donating your body to science, please give us a call at 847-220-8757. If you have been admitted to a hospital or care facility, please provide our number to them so they can be in contact at the appropriate time.
I need more information.
Resources page. Contact page. Phone number, etc.