(AscendHealthy.com) – Most of us have burial or cremation in mind when we make plans for our remains. Some people might have thought about donating their bodies to science, but they’re unsure about the details. This option is definitely not for everyone, but it might be an important decision that could help improve, or even save, numerous other lives. Here’s what to keep in mind if you’re considering donating your body to science.
It Helps Medical Students Hone Their Skills
Medical students often learn how to perform certain procedures using donated bodies. Feinberg School of Medicine shares that these donations can help future doctors sharpen their skills and improve their sense of compassion for human life. Several organizations work to help place donated bodies with medical universities all across the country.
It Contributes to Advances in Medicine
In some cases, researchers can use donated tissues for medical research. DonorCure explains that human bodies are often more effective than lab animals for investigating certain issues and diseases. The more bodies that are donated to science, the fewer animals researchers feel the need to sacrifice in their quest for answers.
It Helps Limit Funeral Expenses
Burials can be expensive, and even cremation doesn’t run cheap. Donation to science often eliminates the need to pay for either option, although some institutions may require payment for transportation. After a body has been put to use, it is then respectfully cremated by the institution, with the remains returned to the family.
It Prevents Organ Donation
When you donate your body to science, you cannot be an organ donor. According to DonateLife America, an average of 17 people die each day in the United States while waiting for donor organs. In the US alone, over 120,000 people are currently on waiting lists for compatible donors. One person can potentially save 8 lives with their whole-body donation; additional tissues like corneas, heart valves, and tendons can improve the quality of life for an additional 50 patients in need. It’s up to you whether you want to save lives or help with medical advancements.
To Donate Your Body to Science or Not?
Like any other post-mortem arrangement, donating one’s body to science is best arranged long before any service is needed. Most bodies are eligible for donation, but not all qualify. For example, some institutions won’t consider bodies that have been infected with HIV or hepatitis C, while others may not accept obese bodies or those that fall outside certain age restrictions. There are also personal and religious issues to consider, as well as the feelings of grieving family members.
We all have different ideas of what’s acceptable to do with our bodies after we’ve passed on. Making the ultimate donation to science might not be the right choice for everyone, and the choice needs to be a personal one. For people who don’t have any religious objections, the option is at least worth considering.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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