What Happens When You Donate Your Body to Science?
Ok, I am going to chalk up even thinking about this to the fact that I have 'lost' five people in my life since March of 2020. I have been to in person funerals and memorial services, Zoom services and been told that "There will be a memorial, when it is safe to do so."
It was at one of these in-person events that a friend mentioned to me that she was "donating her body to science" when she dies. Yep, these are the conversations that apparently I get sucked into when at a memorial service. No, I am not making this up.
What is the process to donate your body to science in New York State?
So, I decided to look into this. What do you have to do to donate your body to science? To be honest, I can't even believe that I looked into this.
Here are a few things that I found out about how this process works in New York:
- You need to contact a New York State Medical College and ask them about "Anatomical Donations"
- Can you still donate your organs, before your body goes to the Medical College? Yes, but it depends on the requirements of the college. While some may allow you to donate your corneas, others may want to have your lungs and organs still with you.
READ MORE: Who Can Legally Declare You Dead in New York State?
What happens to your body after the students are done using it?
- Well, again, this is something that can be worked out in advance. Several will cremate the remains and then they can be offered back to your family to be included in your family plot, or they can be buried at the College or some even offer a 'Maritime' burial. Again, it depends on the school and your agreement with them.
- If you do decide to do this, you will need to inform your family, your doctors and your lawyer. Pretty much, the important people in your life need to know about this.
- Then, when you do pass, your family will need to contact the college that you selected to make arrangements to get you to the college.
Is donating your body to science the right thing for you?
Wild, right? I had no idea what was involved and while I don't think that this will be the path that I take, it might be of interest to you.