While many people continue to consider burial or cremation, others are looking into another option: body donation. In short, this is the act of donating your body to science as opposed to being buried or cremated.
There is no denying that you will eventually come in contact with somebody who is interested in donating their body to science, however, they don’t know how to get started. This is much more difficult than just having their body dropped off at a local lab! The practice of body donation is highly regulated.
Even though there are many advantages of body donation, it is imperative to be aware of the drawbacks as well. Most people believe that if you choose to donate your body to science that it will be accepted with open arms, however, nothing could be further from the truth. With the Human Tissue Act 2004 in place, written and witnessed consent must be provided by the person who wants to have his or her body donated. In other words, another party cannot grant permission after the person has died.
A written plan could ensure that your body is accepted regardless of the cause of death. There are situations, such as with certain insurance policies, that will exclude your body from being donated to science should you die in a manner that is excluded under the terms of your policy. In this case, even though you wanted to have your body donated to science, it will not happen. As a result, your family will have to make alternative arrangements after your death.
Do you have a plan B? Although you may take all the appropriate steps in having your body donated, you never know what will happen after you die. For this reason, you need to have an alternative plan just in case your donation is not accepted for one reason or another. Your plan B will typically include being buried or cremated if your body is not accepted for any reason.
Body donation is rising in popularity, but there is a lot that goes into making this decision. Since time is important, there is not usually enough time to plan a memorial service after you die. For this reason, family members will have to find closure quickly and possibly without having a chance to say their final good bye.
Donating your body to science is associated with a list of pros and cons. It is a great way to do something good for future generations, but at the same time you need to know what goes into this process, if you overlook an important detail, it could cause some difficulties for your family.
So, do your research first!