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If the family is requesting a medical brain autopsy with neuropathological examination, the Maritime Brain Tissue Bank can accept donations from across Canada for research purposes. 


The following steps should be followed if an individual or their family wants to make a brain tissue donation to the Maritime Brain Tissue Bank:

  1. A request for autopsy must be made by the family to the regional hospital. A consent for autopsy form must be completed and signed, either at the time of death or, preferably, before. Consent for autopsy forms can be obtained through a physician or the Department of Pathology at the closest regional hospital in the appropriate health authority of your province. This request should be made to the treating physician (usually the family doctor, palliative care doctor or the attending physician at the hospital or long-term care facility).

  2. A handwritten statement should be added to the autopsy consent form indicating a donation is to be made to the Maritime Brain Tissue Bank. Please include our contact information in case hospital staff have questions.

  3. The next of kin must then sign the completed form.

  4. The signed consent form will be included with the patient’s chart.

  5. At the time of death, a physician must sign the Medical Certificate of Death. This is usually the family doctor, palliative care physician, or the attending physician in a hospital or long-term care facility. If the death occurs at home, a physician must be called to the home to sign the Medical Certificate of Death. The remains cannot be transported until this is done.

  6. When there is a consent for autopsy and the remains must be transported, medical staff (or family – but for emotional and support reasons it should be the physician or staff) should arrange for transportation to the closest regional hospital that will perform the autopsy.

  7. Depending on the province the donor lives in, there may be expenses associated with transportation to the hospital morgue, the autopsy and/or the neuropathological examination. These matters should be discussed with the physician and/or hospital staff prior to requesting an autopsy.

  8. After the autopsy, funeral arrangements must be made by family.

questions? please see our faq page or contact us

If any issues arise while following the steps listed above, the MBTB team can assist you. Please call us at 902-494-4130 during regular business hours from Monday to Friday or fill out the form in the link below.

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