Monday, July 31, 2006

Donate your body to science.

I've written a lot about the numerous ways to donate life. But if those don't appeal to you (or even if they do) perhaps you'll consider donating your body to science. Interested? Here are two of your options:

* Most medical schools will consider body donations as they are used to teach medical students, practice surgery, do research and more. Contact a medical school near you to get more information. Click for a list of the 125 accredited medical schools in the US, the 17 schools in Canada, and body donation resources in the UK. For an example of the information you'll find, check out the information site for UAMS.
Note that you will not be able to donate your organs if you donate your body to a medical school.

* The Anthropological Research Facility at the University of Tennessee accepts donated bodies to "scientifically document postmortem change." This is important "for providing education and training in forensic anthropology and skeletal biology for students and law enforcement agencies." This so-called "Body Farm" is the only facility of its kind in the world. Donation is free if you are within 200 miles of the University, otherwise there will be transportation costs.
Note that donation to the Body Farm does not prevent donation of other organs or tissues.

Remember, US law prohibits medical schools or state anatomical boards in the United States from purchasing bodies from families or estates. Also, all bodies may not be acceptable so you may need to consider an alternative plan. Include your wishes in your will, and make sure to share your desires with your family.

Donating your body to science is a great way to support medical and forensic training and research and make a truly lasting contribution!

"People living deeply have no fear of death." - Anais Nin

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