How to Donate Your Body to Science and Skip the Funeral Costs

Donate Your Body to Science

There are few certainties in life, but taxes and death are two that we can count on. Have you seen the life insurance commercials that feature actors discussing the high cost of funerals?

Well, it’s not just a ploy to sell more insurance. The average funeral costs around $5,000, and cremation isn’t much cheaper.

But there’s a way to help offset your final expenses while also contributing to scientific research: donate your body to science! Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.

In fact, you’ll be doing your part to help future generations live longer, healthier lives. Plus, think of the money you’ll save your loved ones on funeral costs. They’ll be thanking you from beyond the grave.

So next time you’re planning for the inevitable, consider donating your body to science. It’s a win-win for everyone, except maybe the funeral industry. Oops, did I just give away my secret motive for writing this?

How Donating Your Body to Medical Science Works

This is how it works. Remember, not only will you be contributing to important scientific studies, but you’ll also be able to completely avoid any costs associated with the handling of your remains.

No more expensive embalming fees, no need to purchase a coffin, and no cremation costs. Plus, you can even have a private memorial service at no extra cost to your family.

So how do you get started? The easiest way is to pre-register with your local medical teaching hospital. Simply complete the forms in the registration packet and sign the consent form.

Don’t forget to include this information in your will so that your family knows your wishes.

And make sure to let the people handling your final affairs know about your directive, so they can notify the funeral service to call the hospital when the time comes. The hospital will then make proper arrangements to preserve your body.

If you or your family members are curious, you can even ask the hospital or school what they plan to do with your body after the research is completed.

Most institutions will cremate the body at their expense and return the ashes to the family.

Related: Donate Plasma for Money [Save Lives & Get Paid!]

Donating Individual Organs to Save Lives

Donating your organs can be a selfless and life-saving act. If you want to help others in this way, there are a few steps you need to take.

First, register with the Network for Organ Sharing. It’s also important to note that simply checking the box on your driver’s license is not enough. You must also register with the Network to become an organ donor.

Once you have taken these steps, your family will have the freedom to plan the memorial service of their choice at the venue of their choice, without the added burden of expensive funeral costs.

Organ donation has the potential to save lives and make a huge impact on the recipients and their loved ones. By taking these steps, you can leave a lasting legacy and make a difference in the world.

Just be sure to let your family know about your wishes, so they can honor them when the time comes.

Related: Get Paid to Donate Bone Marrow for Transplants

Donating Your Body to Science for Money is Illegal

It’s important to note that it is illegal to sell your body for scientific research. By law, institutions are not allowed to purchase bodies for this purpose.

This prohibition is in place to ensure that body donation is motivated by a desire to contribute to scientific research, rather than financial gain. It also helps to prevent exploitation and unethical practices.

So if you’re considering donating your body to science, know that it is a noble and selfless act that can have a lasting impact on the world. Just be sure to follow the proper legal and ethical guidelines to ensure that your donation is handled properly.

Frequently Asked Questions on Donating Your Body to Science

Is there a cost associated with donating my body to science?

No, donating your body to science is completely free. The institution handling the donation will also cover any costs associated with the body, such as cremation and transportation.

What happens to the body after the donation?

The body is typically embalmed to preserve it for scientific research. Any unused tissue or remains are cremated and returned to the family.

How long is the body typically kept for scientific research?

An embalmed body can be preserved for a lengthy period of time, anywhere from 10 months to 18 years. In most cases, the body is kept for about one year. Many institutions also hold annual memorial services as a way to thank those who have donated their bodies.

How many bodies are donated each year?

There is no official record of body donations, but it is estimated that around 20,000 Americans donate their bodies to science each year.

What does a body look like after an organ donation?

There are no visible signs of organ donation on the body. The donor is typically fully clothed and the body may be prepared for an open-casket funeral.

Are there any requirements for body donation?

In general, a body being donated to science must weigh less than 250 lbs. and be free of infectious diseases. There is no age limit for body donation, with the oldest recorded donor being 92 years old.

Donating your body to science is a noble and selfless act that can contribute to important scientific research and potentially save lives. It also has the added benefit of covering the cost of final arrangements. If you are considering body donation, be sure to follow the proper legal and ethical guidelines to ensure that your donation is handled properly.

What about you? Would you consider donating your body to science?

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  1. Can one donate one’s useful bits and still donate the rest of ones body to science?

  2. Avatar Deborah S Meshefsky says:

    What happens if you have moved since donating

  3. Avatar Gail Berdahl says:

    My husband & I both signed up to donate our bodies to science, to help mankind.My Husband died on March 18,2019 & he went to “Science Care” in Philadelphia.They were so kind to me while I gave them information on my husband.I will be giving my body also when I die.Its very humbling to know we can help mankind after we are gone. THANK You Gail.

  4. Im truly thinking about this so I do not have to put that worry on my family. I have no insurance that will cover it. I have talked it over with the family that it would matter to and they are o.k withit. I explained it to them that by doing this I will be helping 100 to 10,000 people by what they can discover from my body. So I think that Im going to donate my tired body to sicence.

  5. My friend and her brothers looked into this for their mother, who has Alzheimer’s and is in hospice care, because they wanted to help Alzheimer research (donating only the brain was not an option with the particular medical school they talked with). They were told that they would receive the creamated remains back in 3 to 5 years. They ultimately decided against donation because none of them wanted to deal with an additional emotional upheaval years later, especially after spending 10+ years watching their mother go down a very slippery slope of decline. Actually, depending on where you live, if you have enough land and are a certain distance away from any septic tanks or water supply, a family cemetary is legal, and bodies don’t have to be embalmed. I am not clear on the legalities of vaults, probably again depends on your location, but this is something my ex-husband and I discussed and briefly looked into, having a small family cemetary on the back of our acreage with a simple wooden casket in use. There are options besides your standard funeral home.

  6. Avatar Marie at familymoneyvalues says:

    I agree with Julie. I did some reading on funeral and remains disposal a while back and there are (or can be) fees associated even with donating your entire body.

  7. Great article…… in BC – Canada – the forms from UBC state that the body must not be
    overweight or obese and also that the cremated remains will only be returned to family after approximately 3 years,

    A great cause, as is organ donation…… least 7 organs can be harvested in the
    event of an untimely death……

  8. Thank you for posting such an insightful article about whole body donation for medical research. Whole body donation is a great alternative to a typical funeral. However, it is important to note that there can be fees associated with a medical school donation.

    Science Care is truly a wonderful program for anyone seeking to donate their bodies to further medical research and training. I am a representative of the organization and I cannot tell you enough what a generous gift it is to donate your body to science – each donor personally helps to save lives for future generations. Science Care also covers all costs associated with the donation, which alleviates family’s form being burdened by fees at the time of their loved ones passing.

    It is also important to remember that not every medical school accepts donation and some medical schools can only accept a certain number of donations per year. That is one of the reasons why there is a need for private companies such as Science Care. We always recommend having a plan B in the event that your primary plan falls through.

    I also want to caution folks who wish to donate their bodies to science to make sure and do your research before you choose where to donate your body. There are over a dozen programs for medical research and education, but only three in the entire U.S. are accredited by the AATB (American Association of Tissue Banks). Science Care was the first and continues to actively lobby for responsible tissue banking by way of accreditation. While accreditation is not a legal requirement, it is really the only way to make sure a program holds high standards for quality and safety.

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Thanks for stopping by an lending your expertise, Julie. This is a fascinating industry.

  9. Donating your body to science is very important. Its also very important to donate to important causes. Some people who arent very fortunate my need a transplant and you could be the one to save their life.

  10. Avatar 20 and Engaged says:

    I’ve signed up to be an organ donor, but as far as donating my whole body to science, I haven’t got confident enough to make the jump yet.

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Good for you! I need to do the same. It’s certainly something I believe in. I’d like to think I could part ways with my whole body too. Just not sure how my family would feel.

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