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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What do you think about donating your body to science?

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A couple of people I knew have done this recently.  It’s a cheap way to dispose of your body if you don’t have the money for a burial and it also helps science research.  They can use your body to teach students about anatomy, for surgical practice, or any number of other procedures that people can study including decomposition so the information can help in solving future crimes.  You don’t have a say as to how your body is used after you die, if you do decide to donate it to science.

Not all bodies will be accepted either due to weight issues or contagious diseases.  The institution that picks the body up for science will also take care of the expenses of cremation when they’re through using your body for research.  Your ashes can then be returned to family members if that’s agreed upon beforehand.  You must take care of all this paperwork when you’re still alive.

I read that between 10,000 and 15,000 Americans donate their bodies yearly to benefit medical science.  I never knew this and thought I’d look into it after this actually happened with my friends.  Before that I never really gave this any kind of thought, or even heard of it before.

A few facts about donating your body:

You must donate your whole body in most cases, so organ donors don’t qualify.

Transporting your body to a science facility is free unless you’re being shipped to another state.

You may not qualify if you’re morbidly obese, badly damaged in a car accident, or have a contagious disease (such as tuberculosis, HIV, or hepatitis.)

The medical facility won’t pay your family for your body.

The family can conduct any memorial service beforehand, but they will have to pay for those costs.

You can’t request that your body be used in a certain way.  Science will decide.

I found all this interesting, but I always like to learn new things.


  1. I saw on some TV show where the characters went to a body farm. Where they leave bodies out to see how they react to various conditions. This was one way bodies donated to science were used. Something else to consider.

    1. Liz,

      That's definitely something to consider. I imagine forensic patholoists would use that info, but it could get nasty, couldn't it?



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