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ot-would you donate your body to science?

it is my wish to leave my body to science. i have many reasons for making this decision. what are your feeling about this? thanks!


Tue. Sep 19, 2:01pm

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I am an organ donor, I know its not the same thing but it is something.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 2:02 PM

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Read "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" by Mary Roach before you do...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 2:08 PM

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op here

actually, my first choice was to donate organs until the recent news disclosing all of the unsavory, corrupt practices in the trade/sale of organs.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 2:13 PM

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no, I wouldn't

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 3:05 PM

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OP the world of science thanks you, but I guess (unless it matters personally to YOU because of your religion or whatever) you should really ask your close family and friends. Would it hurt THEM to not be able to say goodbye in a traditional way?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 3:07 PM

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i went and looked up reviews of this book on and all those who posted shared their love of the book. i think i will check it out of the library tonight.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 3:08 PM

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op-in response to 307 poster

my choice has nothing to do with the wishes of anyone but me. my friends and family cannot influence this decision. what they can do is hold a memorial or commemorative service to celebrate my life, if they so choose. i would not describe my particular choice as having any type of agenda and would not try to convince others to do what i choose to do. (not that anyone implied that i would, i'm just saying...) i feel that people who want to say goodbye to me can do so without having my body there. after all, it's my mind that i'm loved for.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 3:28 PM

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to 307

what is the traditional way you write about? i thought each culture/religion/family had their own tradition. is there a "universal" way to say goodbye? not trying to come off as snotty...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 3:30 PM

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yes, I would. If I could save someone's life, absolutely.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 3:40 PM

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I would. I may be a surgeon's first cut. I may teach a new medical student that this is not the field for them or I may teach that student to be respectful because every cadaver was someone's loved one. I may rot in a lab somewhere. Or I may not. But I would like my body to be as productive in death as it was in life.

And thanks for that book recommendation - I will also be reading it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 3:56 PM

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There is corrupt stuff going on everywhere. I just hope when I give my organs they will go to someone who needs them more than I do. I could save a life or many lives and my family may be able to look at these people and see a part of me. Even if they don't know the people my organs are donated to, they will know that a part of me still lives on.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 3:57 PM

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There's a big difference between donating organs and donating your body to science.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 5:08 PM

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what is the point being made about the difference? obviously there is a difference. i don't understand the reason for mentioning it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 6:27 PM

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seeing what I see, yes I would

I teach human anatomy in the lab, and there is always need for anatomical gifts for training future doctors. I would definitely make an anatomical gift, myself. The students are very, very respectful -- no frat-style hijinks as in urban legends. They are also very thankful.

One thing about making an anatomical gift is that your family DOES get your cremated remains back, although it may be a year after your death. So if you (or they) want a ceremony and/or to have ashes scattered or saved, that is possible. At many schools the medical students also have a memorial service for the people (anonymous to them) who made them this wonderful gift.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 8:24 PM

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You touched a tender spot in my memory bank. Warning: long post.

My mother told my family that it had been her life long dream to donate her body to science. When she got cancer, she and Dad made a trip to her alma mater's medical school a few years before she finally succumbed, and she joined the anatomical donation program. After her death, her body went to the medical school and we had a very nice memorial service locally. After a couple of years, my Dad along with a lot of other families got an invitation to the medical schools memorial service when the body had been cremated. The gratitude expressed in the service was very moving, and the families of the donors were all glad for their loved ones' donations. My mother was a very giving person, and she kept on giving even after her death. Our whole family is very proud of her and so glad she got her wish.

I work at a medical research facility. During the time between when my mother's body was donated and the time it got cremated, some of my colleagues were using cadaver parts in their research. In one project, they were studying the hand tendons because it is so devastating if your tendons get messed up and you can't bend your fingers the way you used to. They were trying to figure out the best way to suture them back together so that they would work well. There were all kinds of hands in their lab. I wondered, is that my mom's hand? It pleased me that she could be helping others. (I think if you donate directly to a department of anatomy, you are helping the anatomy students, and the body stays intact.) The researchers told me that they had to keep meticulous control over the different parts so that when they were done, they could return the parts from whence they came so that the bodies could be reunited for the final cremation. They all were very respectful, very grateful, and took great care to return all the parts.

So I would determine before hand who you want to donate your body to and find out if it stays together, or helps lots of people (and gets distributed as parts) if that is an issue for you.

Bless you, OP, for wanting to donate your body. BTW, I have the organ donor preference checked on my drivers license. When I get old and decrepid, I'm thinking to change to a body donor.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 9:30 PM

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006, 8:04 AM

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