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03-Apr-2019

Why You Should Consider Donating Your Body to Science

Why You Should Consider Donating Your Body to Science

Summary

Many of us don’t like to think about death, in fact, we avoid the subject where possible. Banishing the taboo around death is important, as, after all, we are all going to die someday, so why aren’t we more open about discussing it?
Editor: Nola Cadman Last Updated: 03-Apr-2019

Many of us don’t like to think about death, in fact, we avoid the subject where possible. Banishing the taboo around death is important, as, after all, we are all going to die someday, so why aren’t we more open about discussing it?

The more we talk about death, the easier it will be to normalise the subject and feel less fearful of the unknown. Whether you want to talk about it or not, one aspect of death that you can’t hide from is deciding what you want to happen to your body when you pass. It’s not a particularly pleasant thought but it is one you’ll eventually have to face.

Every year, hundreds of people decide to turn away from the tradition of an immediate cremation or burial and instead donate their body to science. In fact, there are around 1,300 bodies donated in the UK every year.

Here, we’ve considered the main reasons why you should look into donating your body to science after you’ve gone and the accompanying benefits.

It can ease the stress of arranging your funeral

Organising a funeral for a loved one who has passed is a trying situation for many people. By donating your body to science, you remove this stress and everything is handled by the medical school your body is being donated to. They can arrange to have the body cremated and your family members can attend a cremation ceremony before taking the ashes away.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that your family will still have to deal with your assets and will once you have passed. To help them, you can point them towards a service such as Beyond that can offer advice on everything from dealing with probate to estate administration.

Your body could help train new doctors

As part of medical training, student doctors are often required to work on real human bodies. Your body could be invaluable to medical tutors and students and enables them to progress in their studies, learn about how the human body works and save a life in the future. You can also feel safe with the knowledge that bodies are treated with respect and often it is, in fact, the tutor that leads any dissections, with students writing notes and taking part under supervision.

You can help surgeons perfect their craft

Going under the knife is a daunting prospect for many but surgeons rely on donated bodies to ensure they are performing their surgeries correctly. If you donate your body all forms of surgeons, from cardiologists to those performing neurosurgery, may benefit from what it can teach them and allows them to develop their skills ready for the field.

Your body could aid vital research

Human bodies are an extremely important resource for scientific research and are a vital piece in the puzzle for scientists to continually gain a better understanding of the human body.

There is still a lot to be discovered in regards to cancer and how it affects the body and by donating your body to science, you could be pivotal in a breakthrough piece of research. Even those patients who have had cancer and died from the disease can donate their body for medical research. It’s also worth noting that a 90-year-old body is just as valuable as a 19-year-old body.

 

 

Your life might be over, but there’s still a chance you can extend someone else’s and isn’t that just a fantastic thing to do? Find out more about donating your body via the HTA (Human Tissue Authority) site.