What to do with my dead body?

Decisions, decisions. In the event of my death, I’d really like to just have my body auctioned off, but that’s illegal.

So, should I donate the whole body to medical science, or opt for organ/tissue donation? I can’t do both, since as I understand it, medical schools want the whole enchilada (they don’t even want a body that’s been autopsied).

Organ donation benefits whoever gets the organ, but sites that mention the whole body thing say stuff like “Medical schools, research facilities, and other agencies need to study bodies to gain greater understanding of disease mechanisms in humans. This research is vital to saving and improving lives.” Won’t an “anatomical gift” to a medical school bring more benefit in the long term? And the older I get, won’t my aging organs be of less & less use?

I don’t care if you think it’s gross (I had to tell someone: at Cornell, they seem to think it’s gross.); I don’t care how they cut it up, or even if they treat it with dignity. :rolleyes: Like I care about that.

Medical schools sometimes have a very hard time getting enough bodies for their students to work with, so that might be a nice thing to do. Organ donation is good too, I’m not sure which organs “age” better than others.

I wouldn’t mind being an organ donor, as long as the rest of me can be cremated afterward. I have this idea that my ashes could be placed in cute little bottles or vials and given to my mourners, who would then take them to some great or far away place and scatter me there. I could end up being very well-traveled.

Just a thought.

I like the donate your body idea.

Maybe you’ll get lucky and be part of the reanimation study, right when they figure it out.

or maybe you get to be the corpse the drunken med student steals and uses for a practical joke.

that would be a high point for me right there, though.

If anyone wants my body for whatever purposes, email me at deke_weasleteats@hotmail.com and you can have it for $10,000. Pay me now, and I’ll sign a contract agreeing you can have it upon my death.

I wouldn’t mind giving my body to a med school or “science”, but I would prefer that the organs are harvested and given to people who need them. I’d really like my unused parts to be “recycled” somehow, but I don’t know what’s legal. I’d love for my body to be chopped up and scattered to decompose naturally or maybe reentered to the food chain. The burial plot idea seems so space-wasting and selfish, and cremation seems such a waste of protein. Anyone know alternatives?

phartizan, seriously consider donating your organs, especially funky ones like eyes. I hope if I ever need an organ my doctor can find one that would work for me.

I saw a true story on tv about a guy whose last wish was to play Shakespeare’s “Yorrick”, the skull that Hamlet holds while reciting “To be or not to be, etc…” A professional theatre company used his skull for their full run of Hamlet. Pretty cool legacy.

I know I’m looking way into the future here (touch wood), as I’m only a young whipper-snapper, but I I’m going to be stuffed and mounted. I will have a stern face, and will be pointing accusingly. I will demand in my will that I am placed in my wife’s bedroom, facing the bed, to put her off geting up to any mischief when I’m gone.

(I should probably keep that quiet until I’m married, mind, for fear of scaring off the supermodels I’m fishing for).

Oh my god, I’m feeling nostalgic about Wildest Bill. Something’s terribly wrong here.

In case ya missed it.

It’s not so much that as you age, your organs will be less usable, but the circumstances of your death, IIRC. There is (obviously) a restricted time during which your organs can be harvested, and this among other factors will severely limit the types of death which can be considered. When my father was dying, in a very good cancer hospital, we approached the doctors to request that his organs be donated. Since he wasn’t on life support, there were certain procedures which were not appropriate, but we donated everything that was possible. (Sorry, I’m trying to avoid too much detail here!)

I’d go with donation of as much as possible - there are all sorts of bits which can be reused, in addition to the biggies - hearts etc. I really like your attitude to this, by the way phartizan, I’m always surprised at how many people refuse even to discuss something which could benefit so many other people once they themselves are gone.

Jeez, now THAT is scary. I think I might be possessed by the spirit of Wildest Bill.

::voice changes, room gets cold::

[Wildest Bill speaks from beyond the Message Board]
Did I mention that I want my body wrapped in pork and dropped on Muslim terrorists? Or that I want my fingers put on sticks to poke black rappers with? Or that I want my legs to be given clockwork motors so that they may goosestep gays out of town? Or that I want the contents of my bowels saved so it can be flung at any other groups I’ve failed to offend? Or… Or… Or…
[/Wildest Bill rant fades]

::room warms up again::

What? Why is everyone looking at me like that? WHAT?!

Get over it.

Well, that’s the thing; if lots of med school students get to study a body, won’t that eventually benefit more people long term than the handful that get your organs?

Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Meyer weiner…If it’s wasting protein you’re worried about, you could feed your cats.

Anyway, as I understand it, although med schools want bodies intact, they don’t mind if the eyes are gone (Is that what you mean by funky?).

i thought this maybe would be a thread by Gary Condit looking for advice and alternatives…

actually, i think he probably has a real good handle on the problem by now…
(relax, its a joke…maybe)

For a relatively young person, I think that organ donation is a good idea. For the elderly, I think leaving one’s body to science may be a better idea. (nothing like a med student learning all about what goes wrong with organs when they age!)

We don’t have organ donation forms on the backs of our driver’s licenses here. I’ll have to look for a form. Noone would want my scratched up and cruddy ol’ corneas, or my acne-prone skin (though burn victims aren’t likely to be picky) but the rest of me’s good to go!

What would a Natural man do?

Sure, many tribes have many different practices, but among nearly all tribes of all continents is this simple option:

An ailing man, knowing he was dying, could go out into the woods and lay down in his agony and die alone. Let nature take its course with the body. Feed the scavangers, then the maggots, then the moulds of Nature.

i like this Unclaimed guy! Welcome aboard!

“Broc-a-flower? What the HELL IS this?”

A dear, crazy, departed aunt of mine always said she wanted to be cremated then have her ashes scattered from an airplane on wash day. Course, since nobody hangs their clothes outside to dry anymore, that idea has lost most of its effect.

Me, I think the organ donation idea is good, provided they are of use still. If not, then donate to a med school is good too.
My mom always wanted me to go to med school anyway.

I was reading a book about mortuary science, and they also use bodies donated to science. They need to teach with something. They practice embalming, reconstruction, etc.
I have to say, that wasn’t what came to mind when I thought of donating my body to “science.” If I remember correctly, the man’s body couldn’t otherwise be used because he died of a liver condition, and was quite sick (yellow, enlarged liver). Not a good specimen of the average human being.
I have seen three medical cadavers. All were elderly. They weigh A LOT. After being preserved, the average weight is 400 lbs, because all the tissues take up so much fluid. If the tissues dry out, muscles resemble beef jerky, coincidentally not my favorite food any more.
It is very important to keep all the parts you remove in the examination. The family is promised that all the parts of the person will be cremated, and returned to them after use. It is important to save every little piece. The whole process takes about 3 years at the school I was at. That would be creepy, I think. Oh, they’re done with Grandma; only took 3 years.


I also think that sirjamesp is quite funny! Welcome, welcome, welcome!