OFDA members have notified us of correspondence they have received from a company called BioGift. Scott Gilligan, OFDA Legal Counsel, has researched this company and suggests that funeral homes do not respond to the requests from this company.
Scott writes, "From looking at the BioGift website and some of the consent forms they use, it looks legit. It is a research firm that takes bodies and body parts and sells them for research. None of the bodies (or parts thereof) BioGift receives are used for transplant, only for research. So, if knee surgeons were going to a seminar to learn new techniques, the organizers of the seminar would call BioGift up and order 50 knees. They may go for $1,000 a knee. BioGift ships the knees to the seminar and then after the seminar, it collects the knees and has them cremated. Typically, the family can opt to have cremated remains returned to them, but (as disclosed by the consent form), it will only be the cremated remains of those portions of the bodies not used (sold) by BioGift for medical research."
Mr. Gilligan strongly advises against Ohio funeral homes being actively involved with this firm or any other body parts research firm except for a local medical school that they have checked out. He further states, "While an Ohio funeral home certainly should follow the instructions of a family who has already chosen to gift a body to BioGift, the funeral home should not be actively referring families to BioGift. The whole research body parts market is unregulated and contains several unreputable operators making millions in the sale of body parts. We do not believe a funeral home would ever want to be associated with these practices, especially with the scrutiny that could follow on the tail of the New York body selling scandals."