Do you ever spend time thinking about what’s going to happen to your body when you die? For most people, the answer to that question, “Probably get cremated or buried.”
While those are the two most obvious choices, there’s a third option that very few of have ever considered, whole body donation.
Now, before you go jumping to conclusions about what you think body donation is all about, it’s worth taking a few moments to find out how modern donation processes really work.
When you do, you’ll quickly realize that it’s a system run by medical professionals, researchers and licensed morticians. Not only that, it offers some real benefits to both society at large, and your own family.
It’s also important to understand the differences between donating your body to medical research and donating your body to a medical school anatomy lab. As we’re about to find out, these are two very different options.
If you’ve never considered donating your body to science, we encourage you to read the following article with an open mind.
Body Donation isn’t What You Think it is
When most people think of body donation they picture a bunch of first year medical students slicing and dicing a grey looking corpse in a med school anatomy lab. While this is definitely an option for your remains, it’s an entirely different animal from donating your body for research.
When you donate to a research facility real doctors and researchers, not first year medical students, extract very specific tissue samples from your remains for their research. This is all done at accredited research facilities in a professional manner.
In short, you’ll never have to worry about your remains being manhandled by a bunch of first year medical students if you choose this route.
Donors Give to Their Families, Too
Is your family ready to withstand the double punch of losing a loved one and paying for a funeral? Chances are, they’re not ready at all. With the average funeral cost hovering at around $10,000, very few families are able to pay for them outright. In most cases, that means that the cost of burying a loved one with dignity also means throwing debt on a credit card.
One benefit of whole body donation that relatively few people are aware of is that it can significantly reduce the cost of dying.
That’s because the donation service handles the transportation of your remains to a licensed mortician, as well as the cost of filing for your death certificate. They also pay the cost of having your body delivered to the research facility.
Once the researchers have completed their work, your remains are returned to the mortician for cremation. (The average cremation runs about $5,000 if you were wondering.) At the end of the process, the mortician can send your ashes back to your family to dispense in accordance with your wishes.
It Doesn’t Stand in the Way of Funerals
You might also be surprised to find out that donating your body does not prevent you from having a proper funeral in accordance with your own, specific religious beliefs. Both cremation and body donation are embraced by most of the world’s major religions.
Take a look at the advantages of body donation and you might be pleasantly surprised at what you find.
Cameron Dodd is a freelance writer. He regularly blogs about issues related to family and society.