Donating Your Body and Organs to Science

Jun 28th 2018

Death provides many of us with a chance to make a valuable gift to humanity. Most religious sects approve of organ and body donation for medical and dental teaching, research and/or transplants. Here are some things to consider when donating a body or organs to science.

Medical Research

If you plan to donate a body to medical research (whether your own or as requested by a loved one) after death, it is recommended that you contact the institution or ogranization for which your gift will be intended. In some urban areas, the medical schools may already have ample body donations, and may reject your gift. During the arrangement in body donation, you will need to specify whether the institution you have selected may donate your body to another school should they have enough supply. It is essential you inquire about the specific arrangements to be used at the time of death in order to avoid additional costs.

After a medical study, the body is generally cremated and is laid to rest either in a cemetery plot or scattered at a designated place by the family or deceased. Often the cremains will be returned to the family after 1-2 years. You should obtain the term at the time of donation.

Organ Donation

Today, as medical science advances, organ transplants are very common. Often people will have an organ donor noted on the back of their driver's license. Donation at the time of death saves another life. The organs that one can donate are the heart, liver, lungs, pancreas, other organs, tissues, corneas, and even bones. Organs are high in demand and in short supply because they can only be donated under certain conditions.

Circumstances surrounding the death may limit this option, and will often dictate the condition of the organ itself. If you are considering organ donation, be sure you let your family or spouse know your preference, as well as your physician. It is important that you convey your wishes to your loved ones because even after you have signed a donor card, the doctor will not remove the organ if the family members object.

In addition to letting you family members know, you should have your wishes noted in a medical or hospital record and indicate it on the back of your driver's license. Those individuals who choose organ donations can still be traditionally buried and have an open-casket viewing. Life is precious and organ donors provide a special gift by saving another's life.

If you elect and have a desire to donate your organ(s), always remember to carry organ donor cards, sign the donor space on the back of your driver's license, include your decision within your will and last testament, and let your loved ones know of your final wishes.

It is essential to honor the wishes of those who want to donate all or part of their bodies upon death. Once you have made that choice, the funeral home you choose to work with must abide by your wishes.