Would you donate your body to science after you die?

WHEN you face the death of a loved one, you’re facing more than grief. You can suffer a financial hit too, funerals are expensive, that’s why it’s important to speak with your family about organising a funeral plan, and pre-planning and paying so you can reduce those costs, and help avoid the unwanted stress through those difficult times when they arrive.

Save Money

One reason people donate is to save money.

“Cost savings is one of the reasons people donate,” says Corinne Bell, executive director and chief operations officer at Anatomy Gifts Registry, a non-profit donation organisation.

Golden Leaves provide a unique guarantee for those who donate their body to science. If your body is donated to the scientific community after death and it is used then your family will receive a full refund of your funeral plan costs.

You can support research

Bell says many people choose to donate because they want to see something good come out of their death.

The research and education that come from whole body donation benefits everyone, says Katrina Hernandez, vice president of donor services at Science Care, a company that pairs donors with researchers and educators.

“If you’ve ever been in a doctor’s office, received medical care, or had surgery, you’ve benefited,” she says.

Other feel-good reasons

Researchers use donated bodies to look for ways to improve outcomes for people with diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, or other diseases, she says.

Medical schools use donated bodies to train students, and experienced surgeons train with donated bodies to learn how to place new medical devices.

Paramedics and EMTs practice opening airways and performing other lifesaving procedures with donated bodies, Bell says.

“It’s required for medical science to advance,” she says. “It’s the only way to test in a way that doesn’t put living people in harm’s way.”

There are other feel-good reasons to consider whole-body donation, too. It lessens your carbon footprint compared to taking up space in a cemetery.

It also decreases the need for animal testing.

What to consider

Interested? You’ll most likely qualify. A large percentage of prospective donors do, and cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and advanced age don’t always rule you out so check with your desired research facility.

Get the details

If you’re squeamish about how your body might be used after your death, ask for details before you register. To maximize research opportunities, some organisations send parts of your body to different places.

And some uses, like forensic decomposition studies or trauma studies, might not be part of your end-of-life plan.

Tell your family

If you decide to donate your body, let your loved ones know.

Bell says that sometimes, even though someone is preregistered, her organisation finds out years later that they passed away. “Unfortunately, they never explained their wishes to family members,” she says.

If you decide to donate your body, let your loved ones know and make sure it is included in your funeral plan.

Throughout the month of November, Golden Leaves are offering €150 off all Funeral Plans, making now the perfect time to get your paperwork in order.


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Written by

Charlie Loran

Manchester born mummy with a two year old diva (2020), living on the Costa del Sol for just short of a decade.
Former chef and restaurateur, holistic health fanatic and lover of long words.

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