THIS is your chance to finally go to medical school
Ok, I’ll just go ahead and be blunt about it: We’re all going to die. No buts, no exceptions. Some will go sooner, some will go later, but death is something we’ll all have to deal with at some point, and you can’t just avoid it.
Whilst it’s often an uncomfortable subject for some, given the current COVID-19 pandemic we are seeing how important it is that some of us donate our bodies to science after our death.
If there is a particular research programme, you’re passionate about it’s great to get yourself pre-approved, the process is simple and largely the same, some programs may require you to undergo a physical exam before they initially qualify you but it is all relatively painless.
Speaking with Haylee a funeral plan expert from Golden Leaves she explained that “There has been a significant increase in people wishing to donate their bodies to science in recent years. In the event of this happening with our plans, we refund the repatriation charges and I think this is a fantastic benefit we offer when someone is willing to donate their body to help others, but it is very interesting to see how people from different generations view death.”
When thinking of how to change the future of medicine, some places Alicante, for example, have stopped accepting bodies as they have been inundated and whilst we are in the midst of a pandemic this is the case with most places.
Every country that allows whole-body donation has its own rules regulating the practice. Most, if not all, countries that allow the practice use corpses to train medical students and conduct research into various ailments, such as Alzheimer’s disease, but other countries allow donated bodies to be used in additional ways.
One interesting way to donate your body to science is for the purpose of crash testing. Your corpse can help improve the safety of vehicles if you allow it to be used in crash testing. Although computer simulations and dummies are also used, nothing compares to a real corpse when simulating what happens to the human body during various types of car crashes. The practise began in the 1930s at Indiana’s Wayne State University. Today automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration help fund cadaver testing at various educational institutions.
There are other ways to help though before you leave the land of the living. If you have fully recovered from COVID-19 you may be able to help patients currently fighting the infection by donating your plasma. Because you fought the infection, your plasma now contains COVID-19 antibodies. These antibodies provided one way for your immune system to fight the virus when you were sick, so your plasma may be able to help others fight off the disease.
As with every big decision in life, donating your body to science is all about research. If you’re thinking about it, do your homework, read about programs that might suit your needs, and let your loved ones know about your intentions.
For various medical reasons, not all bodies donated are able to be accepted. If you don’t have a contingency plan in place and your body is rejected, your loved ones will be left scrambling to put together a funeral at a very stressful time. Even worse, if you hadn’t planned for this possibility, they could be left with a rather large, unexpected bill.
Finally, remember that once you pass away, your body needs to be handed over pretty quickly. While your family will eventually receive your remains and may hold a memorial service at that time, they will generally not be able to have a funeral with your body shortly after death, and then donate it. Some people may miss the therapeutic aspect of holding a funeral service, although they may opt for a memorial service without the body, it really is essential to have an open conversation with loved ones to explain your wishes.
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