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How To Donate Your Body To Science

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 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 the school you choose. A comprehensive state-by-state list is available from the Anatomical Board of the State of Florida.

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

There are currently seven body farms operating in the United States. 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: Independent Donation Programs

For individuals who want to donate their bodies and avoid any costs to them or their families upon passing, this is a great option. Independent anatomical donation programs typically are the only organizations that can provide full coverage of expenses related to the donation process – transportation, cremation, copy of death certificate, and returned cremains to family. Because a greater variety of medical organizations are served, independent programs are able to accept donors with numerous different medical conditions. A few of the existing independent donation programs include: United Tissue Network, MedCure, Inc, and 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.

Create your own Everplan now to document your final wishes (and so much more).

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