Do you have notions of donating your body to science?
It could save a fortune on a funeral as well as do good by giving medical students the chance to practice or make discoveries. Final Flinger David Goldberg shares his experience of trying to organise donating his body to science.
“There are many calls these days for us to donate – usually our cash with so many worthwhile causes in the world. And we are all are familiar with “organ donation”. However, it was only when I attended a Final Fling death café in Stirling (31st May) that I heard mention of “body donation”. I had been searching for an alternative to a burial or cremation, and this seemed the perfect answer!
“After finding information on Final Fling under “body donation”, I contacted the Human Tissue Agency and then spoke to a Policy Officer for the Death Certification Implementation Team at Scottish Government. The helpful Sarah emailed me the Scottish Government’s leaflet, How to donate your body to medical science. Sarah emphasised that “it is important to discuss your wishes with your next of kin” so that “at the time of your death they know of your wish to donate your body to medical research, education and training” (which seems broader than “medical science”).
“The next step was to contact the Anatomy Department of my nearest University (Glasgow) to speak with the “bequeathal coordinator” Ann Marie. She sent a couple of information documents, a ‘Declaration of Bequest’ (to be filled in in triplicate), and an offer to speak with her should I so wish.
“My biggest surprise about donating my body to science? Being made aware that, whatever my intention might be, a decision would be made after my death as to the suitability of my body. Each body is treated on a case-by-case basis. And, although the information lists certain exclusionary conditions, it does state, ‘This list is not exhaustive.’
“So, frustratingly, I will never actually know if those students (and medical science) are indeed “benefitting” from me at 9am on a cold Monday morning!”
Thinking about donating your body to science?
Find the nearest medical school that might accept your body.
Make sure you make your Wishes known to your family. You can leave messages, preferences and instruction in your Final Fling account and share them with a Keyholder. Easy.
On his voyage of discovery, David found the following useful links: