How to Donate Your Body to Science

Medical schools need human bodies to teach future surgeons.
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Some 10,000 citizens each year donate their bodies to science. The process is as simple as calling your nearest medical school or going online to register. There are some things to consider, though, and don't forget to tell your relatives or caregiver.

1 Things to Consider

You can sign up with a medical school or private organization such as Science Care, but your action does not constitute a legally binding agreement. You can always change your mind. Your donation helps science and medicine, and it saves your family cremation and other costs. Most organizations will pay for transporting your body as well as cover cremation costs after they are finished studying it. They can then return your ashes to your relatives.

2 Deal Killers

Though they accept almost all donations, most schools cannot accept your body if you have HIV or certain other diseases. They also have weight limits, which vary by institutional recipient but usually top out at 300 pounds, because these bodies are too difficult to store or to study. Also, some organizations may not accept your body if you are planning on donating organs to someone else. A prescreening interview discussion will cover all of the variables.

Nate Lee was senior editor of Chicago's "NewCity" newspaper and creative director in a global advertising agency. A playwright and published poet, Lee writes about the arts, culture and business innovation. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Tulane University.