Sunday, November 27, 2011

After life...donating my body to science

Decades ago, early in my pre-nursing education I had the opportunity to learn human anatomy and physiology in part by dissecting the cadaver of an 80+ year old female. It was amazing how bad her lungs were even though she was a life long non-smoker but had lived in the city all her life. It was during this experience that the thought of donating my body to science first came to mind.

I've thought about finding an organization to do this donation through thinking specifically of bequeathing my cadaver to a school that I have attended so that other students could have the same experience that I had as far as being able to work a real body before attending medical school or whatever. I decided to finally look up such companies today and found Science Care, which accepts whole body donations. They will transport the body to be harvested and will then cremate the body and return it to the family at no cost. They will coordinate with organ transplant procurement teams which will have first dibs on organs before Science Care takes the body.

I see this as a win-win situation for everyone.

For the family: There will be no need for the old man or kids to make funeral arrangements and once the cremains are returned all they have to do is find a nondescript place to dump the ashes since I don't want to have a burial plot or to be interred. You know the saying..."ashes to ashes, dust to dust"...that's exactly how I see my body. It's just going to be the leftovers after I'm baked to dust so just mix me back into/on top of the earth and keep going about life.

For a stranger: Someone in need of an organ may have the chance to live a fuller life.

For education: Students will have a chance for a hands on education whether it's as a brand new anatomy and physiology student or an EMT student learning how to intubate a patient or a medical student being able to handle a real artery that has plaque buildup within it, etc.

I might as well be useful in my death...rather than just sitting in a box in the dirt or in a mausoleum decomposing without benefiting anyone. At least that's my own opinion and plan. My family can take this as my notice of my plan...the old man already knows and I'll have to update my will and advanced directives as well. Ugh. More paperwork!! lol!

If you're interested in donating your body for science you may want to check out these other websites: (Partial list)
Medical School Body Donation Listing
Anatomy Gifts Registry
Lifequest Anatomical
Life Legacy (non-profit) 
University of Tennessee - Knoxville Body Farm

Register in your state to become an organ donor:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Interesting least to me! lol!
10 Uses for your body after you die

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