Body donation

The mail we receive is rarely “real.” Mostly phishing, junk, and flyers. Today I had a dose of adult mail: a note from the insurance company, state tax department forms, a jury summons, and confirmation of my body donation (“after death,” they do specify on the form!) to the Department of Health and Hospitals Bureau of Anatomical Services.

Yeah, that last one.

My Body Donation

My first inspiration to take this route was a piece on NPR that featured med students and the appreciation they expressed for this gift. The more I looked into it, the more I understood the academic, scientific, and investigative importance of cadaver donations to the medical profession. 

Barring something truly horrific, I’m going to become a cadaver anyway. Why not donate it? I was already signed up as an organ donor, but the more I thought about donating my body, the more I felt this was more appropriate as my body’s last hurrah.

I dawdled for years before I found the correct contact information. I confess I wasn’t searching diligently. Who does for these things? I dallied another one or two years to fill out and send in the form. And, just like that, after years of dillies and dallies, I have my yellow body donation card. I know it will feel just like that when it’s time to turn it in. And just like another that, my surviving family will receive my ashes once the med students have finished their lessons.

I share these slightly macabre reflections in case you don’t already have special plans for your body when you’re done with it. This article on Parting (a funeral home site), which I didn’t read before I filled out the form, explains some of the advantages and disadvantages of cadaver donation. Even knowing the disadvantages, I feel good about putting this card in my purple folder.

© Copyright Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved, 2017.

About Pennie Nichols

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8 thoughts on “Body donation

  1. Cathy Chester

    My religion forbids this but I’m donating my body for research anyway. Why not? I think it’s a ridiculous rule because so much good to help others far outweighs any outdated rules. That is, if they want my old carcass. Ha!

    Reply
    • Pennie Nichols Post author

      I suppose I should have mentioned religious considerations. Were it against mine, I would probably be like you and choose this detour for my body anyway. Thanks for reading.

      Reply

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