What Happens When You Donate Your Body to Science?

May 22, 2019 5:56 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Many people find the idea of donating their body to science to be a noble one. With your last act, you can provide a bit of help to people in the future. But it also leads to questions, especially for family members who may be wondering about how the process works.

Donating your body to medicine for research purposes isn’t part of a traditional funeral service in Lake City, FL, but it is becoming a more popular option. Read on to learn more about how donating your body works and why it can be so helpful to the scientific community.

Screening and assessment

The process starts when donors are alive. An organization such as a nonprofit or a university program will evaluate the potential donors. This includes getting answers to questions about medical history along as well as communicable diseases. Sometimes there are issues with those who have certain conditions, such as hepatitis or HIV.

However, while organ donation is typically for younger donors, donating your body to scientific research comes with no age restriction attached. For example, an older person’s heart is just as valuable for scientific research as a younger person’s heart is.

A second assessment of the donor is completed after they pass away. The donor’s body is not embalmed as it would be in a funeral home, as the body does not need to be presented in the lifelike manner typical of funeral services.

Research uses

People willing to donate their bodies to science are serving a vital function in current research. A donor’s body may be used for research on anything from arthroscopic surgery to heart valve transplants. In fact, through advanced technology, donors may even be used to help medical students practice delivering a baby via 3D printing and virtual reality. Ultimately, the medical institution will decide the best use for each donor.

Demand for donors

While many more people are choosing to be cremated and bypass a traditional funeral service and burial, the medical community still does not have enough donors. One reason is because there are often high standards for donors, and many potential donors are ultimately rejected. However, when successful, donating your body is a cost-effective decision that could help both medical institutions and scientific research in general.

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