Should I Donate my Body to Medical Science?

Donating my body to medical science.

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Donating your body to medical science really does help to training medical students. It is certainly important that we don’t discourage it. But there are issues which must be taken into account before you can make an informed decision.

Will donating my body to a medical school save money?

Generally speaking, a medical school will cremate you body once they have finished with it, at their own expense.   However, they will sometimes ask your family for a contribution to the cost of transport especially if you do not live near them (which seems a bit mean, but I suppose they are short of funds!)

However, there are times when donating your body to medical science can go wrong.

  1. If you are an organ donor, and the hospital use your organs, then it is not unlikely that the medical school will no longer accept the donation of you body. This is a point you should discuss before signing the necessary forms.
  2. The Medical School may not need your body at the time you die, or may decide that it is unsuitable for them.
  3. You might die of an infectious disease.

In any of these cases, your family will unexpectedly be faced with meeting the cost of a funeral for you. In some cases, this could be some time after your death.   The family can request (at the time of donation) the return of the body in due course, but would then need to pay the funeral and other costs possibly a very long time after your death.

Our recommendation on donating your body to medical science.

We would encourage you to consider the matter with your family. In some cases it will just be too upsetting for them. In others, your wish may be understood after they have given it some thought.   But it really should not come as a shock immediately after the shock of your death.

What we suggest is that you still purchase a funeral plan, which can be used if the donation to medical science does not go ahead. But we would also suggest that you advise us that donating your body is your wish, and we will find a funeral plan provider who will not penalise you for not using your own plan. Some firms will only refund what you paid (or less) and that might be a substantial real-terms loss. But at the moment we have an arrangement whereby your plan can be left to another family member if it is not used by you.

In our opinion, that is the best of all worlds.

To contact us, go here.

To find out more about donating your body to medical science.  This site includes a link which discusses the situation in Scotland, which is not the same.

More about organ donation.