How can I leave my body to medical science?

Written by andrew smith
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How can I leave my body to medical science?
Medical facility (George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Nobody likes to think about their own mortality. Unfortunately, one thing you must consider is what happens to your body after you're gone. One way to ensure that your legacy will continue after your death is to donate your body to medical science. Your body will be used for research purposes and experimentation. This could one day lead to finding a cure for a deadly disease. Here are some tips for leaving your body to medical science.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Tell your family members that you want to donate your body to medical science. Make it perfectly clear to them that this is what you want after your death. Once your closest relatives (preferably your next of kin) are aware of and accept your wishes, you can know that your body will indeed be donated to medical science once you have passed away.

  2. 2

    Place a statement in your will about leaving your body to medical science. This is the legal route you can take to ensure that your body will indeed be donated after your death. Be sure to tell the executor of your will about your wishes. This way, you can remain confident that family and friends will respect your wishes.

  3. 3

    Contact LifeQuest Anatomical. Located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, LifeQuest experiments on cadavers with hopes of finding the cause of and cure to diseases such as Alzheimer's and cancer, to name just a few. When you donate through LifeQuest, you are asked to sign a registration card that must also be signed by the next of kin and two other witnesses. To learn more information about LifeQuest or to request a brochure, contact LifeQuest at (866) 799-2300.

  4. 4

    Use BioGift to leave your body to medical science. BioGift works with medical facilities throughout the country to ensure that those who wish to donate their bodies to medical science have their wishes fulfilled. Call BioGift at (866) 670-1799 or contact the organisation via e-mail at info@biogift.info.

  5. 5

    Donate your body to Anatomy Gifts Registry (AGR). Since 1994, AGR has used whole body donations as a way to explore body tissue, bones and organs. AGR actually works with the remaining members of your family to ensure that your body is donated in a timely manner after your passing. Call AGR toll free at (800) 300-5433 or via e-mail at info@anatomicgift.com.

Tips and warnings

  • Only leave your body to an organisation that abides by the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. The three above do, as do all medical universities.
  • Be aware that your body will be cremated after experimentation has concluded.
  • Not everybody can donate their body to medical science. Diseases such as AIDS, hepatitis or chronic obesity may disqualify you from donating your body. Call the organisations above to learn their specific guidelines if you have any concerns.

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