Medicine involves a continuous journey of learning and new discoveries. But this wealth of information doesn’t just appear. It comes from the study of the human body, or more precisely cadavers. How can you do your part? What if you want to donate your body to medicine?
The important thing to remember is that facilities that accept these donations prefer a body that is intact. If organs have been removed for other reasons, the facility will most likely decline the donation. Medical facilities require complete bodies in order to gain the full learning experience that they are need.
If this is your wish, you need to make arrangements in advance. This is not something that you want to put on your family after you are gone. Making the correct stipulation in the right location can ensure that your wishes are kept.
It is imperative that your desire be noted in either a living trust or in a simple letter to the executor of the estate. Placing this request in your will is not suggested due to the fact that your will might not be read or settled until quite some time after your passing. By then, it will be too late for your wishes to be met.
Without specifying who your remains are to go to, there could also be a disruption between arguing family members who do not share your wishes.
Your first step is to contact the appropriate state agency to find out if there are any specific guidelines or restrictions when it comes to whole body donations for medical purposes. Some states have very specific rules that must be obeyed in order to participate in this program.
It is also advisable that you contact the institution that you wish to make the donation to and make the necessary arrangements with them in advance. The facility can also make arrangements with your next of kin to accept the donation immediately after death. In order to do so they will need the written permission of the appropriate family kin or that of the medical agent who is in charge.
There is always the possibility that the school will reject your donation or won’t be able to use it for their purposes. In this instance, they can assist the family in trying to locate another facility. If one cannot be located, it will be up to the family to make funeral arrangements.