How to donate your body to science. Making a cadaver donation or anatomical gift to medical or dental colleges
I was recently asked to write an article about cadaver donations. Specifically I was asked to research the hows and whys of donating your body to medical science. As I began researching the article I definitely thought that I would never consider donating my body to medical science as the idea of people poking and prodding my lifeless corpse creeped me out. But as I read more and more and educated myself about the actual process, the creepiness began to fade and I can honestly say that I am actually considering donating my remains when I pass away. If you are reading this article it's because you have an interest in creepy things or you have an interest in the donation process. Either way I hope you find this hub educational and helpful.
- How to Donate a Cadaver | eHow.com
How to Donate a Cadaver. Medical schools around the country use donated cadavers as teaching tools for medical and dental students. The cadavers help students further their knowledge of anatomy and provide opportunities to conduct...
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The Purpose of Cadaver Donations
Medical and dental colleges throughout the country rely on donated cadavers to enhance the learning experiences of their medical, nursing, and dental students. Students use the cadavers to provide hands on authentic learning opportunties they would not normally have. While there are excellent computer simulation programs available nothing takes the place of being able to work with an acutal human body. Students dissect the bodies and learn a multitude of lessons including: the size, shape, and placement of organs, the texture of muscles, and the toll that certain diseases take on the human body.
Doctors routinly use parts from cadavers to replace damaged joints or ligaments in their patients. Surgeons sculpt new joints from cadaver bones and cartilage and use cadaver ligaments to replace torn ones in living individuals. Cadaver tissue is used to replace an accident victims damaged tissue as well as the damaged tissue of burn victims. Plastic surgeons routinely use cadaver heads to practice their skills and perfect techniques because the heads don't swell like a living human being giving the surgeon the ability to see the results of his work instantly.
If you are interested in donating your body once you pass away there are organizations you can contact that will provide you with a myriad of information.
- LifeQuest Anatomical is an organization that accepts body donations and matches the donation with the needs of medical facilities or colleges. All costs for the donation are covered by LifeQuest including transportation of the body and a final cremation. LifeQuest does not accept the bodies of individuals who have died due to extreme trauma, suicide, have HIV, Aids or Hepatitis.
- Biogiftis another organization that accepts body donations for the purpose of supplying medical facilities with organs and tissue samples to use for study and research. Biogift does not conduct medical research they process,store, and distribute organ and tissue samples to research institutes and educational facilities around the country. It is not necessary to preregister with Biogift-your next of kin can consent to the donation for you.
If you are interested in donating your body directly to a medical college you can contact your state's Medical Board for a list of eligible institutions. Contact the institutions and request a donation package that includes their requirements as well as their donation process.
The Donation Process
Once you have decided to make an anatomical donation contact the institution of your choice and fill out the necessary paperwork. After you have been accepted carry your donor card with you at all times. Inform your family of your decision to donate and provide them with the names and numbers of the organization so that they can make contact upon your demise.
Remember that under certain circumstances the organization may deny your donation. Most organizations require you to weigh between 100-250 lbs. They won't accept a corpse that is morbidly obese. They will also not accept cadavers that have communicable diseases, had organs removed, been embalmed, have excessive edema, or have excessively decomposed.
Cadaver donation is not for everyone and it isn't a subject that many people like to think about, but if you have an interest in furthering medical science it is something that you may want to consider.
- Harvard Medical School Anatomical Gift Program
- Albany Medical College: Medical School Donor Programs
As the region's only academic medical center, we provide an extensive range of patient care programs and services for nearly 2.8 million residents.