When considering a disposition method for yourself, most people do not even consider the option of donating your body to science when you die. Not only is this disposition method important for furthering our research in the medical field, it is also saves you a considerable amount of money on funeral expenses. The National Funeral Directors Association found that the average burial funeral in 2018 was $7,300, while the average cremation funeral was $3,200. With most whole-body donation organizations, you will not have to pay anything. The organization will be responsible for transportation, and final disposition of the body.
While this may not be the most traditional funeral type, it can still offer a lot of benefits. This article will examine what whole body donation entails, as well as why people are choosing to donate their bodies to science.
Advancing Medical Research
People are choosing whole body donation more then ever in the United States simply as an effort to give back to the world. Modern medicine would not be anywhere near as advanced as it is today, had it not been for people donating their bodies to doctors and surgeons to develop surgical techniques and study anatomy. Basically, every surgical technique has been studied, developed, and practiced to perfection on cadavers to prevent errors during live operations. All of our understanding of the human anatomy comes from studying human cadavers. If medical research facilities, hospitals, and universities did not have access to cadavers, our nation would have a difficult time testing and developing new surgical techniques, as a result the medical field would stagnate. This is why donating bodies to science is so important. It essentially fans the flames of innovation. With the contribution of your body, you are improving medical research for all future generations. For this reason, many people consider donating their bodies to science to be a final gesture of gratitude.
Many families struggle to pay unexpected funeral costs. A good way to avoid this problem is whole body donation. Organizations like Science Care will pick up the body and take care of everything at no cost to you. It is estimated that 20,000 bodies get donated every year, however, research facilities are always in need of more cadavers, which puts the estimated demand for cadavers at almost double its current donation rate. As long as the body meets certain requirements, donation is encouraged. The process of donating the body is simple, you can make arrangements for whole body donation ahead of time, or at the time of death. Many body donation organizations have procedures in place to cremate the body after it has been utilized for its intended purpose. If you choose to eventually have the body cremated, you can usually expect the ashes to be returned in 3-4 weeks, for the final resting place in a cremation urn.
Does Donating a Body Effect Pensions or Life Insurance Effect Pensions, or Life Insurance
The simple answer is No. The disposition method that you choose will have no effect on life insurance, and pension payouts for surviving family members.
While you do miss the opportunity to have a more traditional funeral service when you choose to donate your body to science, you can still plan funeral services without the body or ashes present. What is really important with regard to the funeral services is the inclusion of family and friends, and recounting shared memories. So if you find yourself in a situation where you are wondering, how am I going to pay for this funeral, you can take solace in the frugal disposition method of whole body donation.
If you are interested in planning a funeral, but need help covering all the funeral expenses, then check out How to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Funeral Expenses for more information.