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Before Pledging, Learn How Body Donation Programs Work

Body donation is an often misunderstood concept that actually requires a lot of thought and pre-planning. If you are thinking of donating your body to science so that it can be used to better mankind, then you should know how body donation works. Here is a quick overview of how this process works so you have a better understanding of everything that’s involved with becoming a full body donor.

Signing Up
While not every program requires per-registration, planning in advance can help eliminate confusion about your wishes. Most body donation programs allow individuals to join their registry of potential donors anytime after the age of 18. You can typically sign up for a program right online or you can opt to have a registration packet sent to you. When joining a program, you will be asked to answer some questions about your health and to provide some information about your next of kin. You should know that the information you provide is not shared and is kept confidential.

You’re Given Information
Once you have signed up and have become accepted, you will be given some information. Included in this is info regarding the coordination of the transportation of your body once you die and info regarding the return of your cremated remains once your body has been used. It is important that you share this information with your loved ones so they know what will happen once you pass away.

Transportation and Use of Your Body
When you die, the body donation program you joined will make arrangements right away to have your body transported to their facility. Your body will then be used for medical education and/or research. The facility using your body may keep it for several weeks as it’s used to help further the medical field. Your family members will not receive any special reports about how your body was used nor will they receive reports of any pathological findings.

Your Cremated Remains Will Be Returned to Your Family
Once the facility is done using your body for science, it will send your cremated remains back to your loved ones. Your family will not have to pay anything for the cremation or for the transportation of your remains. Once they have your ashes, your family is then free to hold a memorial service in your honor.

A Kind Act of Caring and Giving That’s Appreciated
Body donation appeals to many people for many reasons. For one, donating your body is a gracious and kind thing to do. Each day, across America and around the world, doctors, scientists, researchers and medical students are using donated bodies to learn new medical & surgical procedures and to develop new medical instruments.

Most body donation programs send letters out to family members telling them about current projects the donated bodies and being used for. Some body donation programs even plant a tree in honor of each of their donors. In other words, all body donor programs are very grateful for the kindness and generosity expressed by their donors and will show how thankful they are in one way or another.

Now that you know it works to donate your body, you can go ahead and find a program you would like to join. Just be sure to let your loved ones know of your plans so they are not shocked to find out upon your death that your body will be taken away to be used for education and/or research.


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