You’ve decided to “donate your body” after you die. But, what does that actually mean? Donate to what? Or whom? Will your body be used for actual science and medical advancement? Will callous med students be making jokes over your naked corpse? And what happens to your body after they’re done with it? No need to worry, because the following list has you covered with the most popular options.
Educate The Next Generation: Bequeath your body to a university for students
If you’d like to help first-year medical students learn about the human body, this is the choice for you. Forget all the movies and TV shows you’ve seen where crazy co-eds use cadavers to play pranks on one another. This is serious business for them and hands-on experience with actual bodies is vital for them to become real doctors. Still, it’s worth researching this decision and finding out exactly what your body will be used for, which depends on which school you choose. This is site offers a list of body donation programs in the U.S.
Help Doctors Stay Sharp: Assist doctors in refining their skills
Maybe the idea of having untrained med students prodding your body scares you. If so, you can still be generous and give your body to the Medical Education and Research Institute in Memphis TN, where trained doctors use your body to learn new techniques and refine old skills. Bonus: The institute will pay for your body to be transported to Memphis, a cremation afterwards, and will either return the ashes to your family or bury them in Memphis.
Decompose In Peace: Make the “Body Farm” your final resting place
The University of Tennessee’s Forensic Anthropology Center has a “body farm,” which consists of over 650 skeletons and teaches students about the various stages of decomposition. It’s important to note that your family will not get your remains back.
Carefree Approach: Give your body to a “body broker”
If you’re not choosy about where your body goes, or what type of research it’s being used for, this is a great option. These brokers pay for your body to be transported to their facility and offer free cremation of the parts that are not used for research. Although your body will go to science, you have no say in where exactly it ends up. If that’s not an issue for you here are three places that fit the bill: Anatomic Gift Science Care, Bio Gift.
Keep the Body, Donate the Usable Parts
If you want to help others, but still want your family to bury or cremate your body, you can simply donate your organs. Next time you renew your driver’s license select the box that says “organ donor.” Check out this article for all the info you'll need.