I was listening to a radio show from Ireland the other day about donating your body to science. It's not something I ever thought about before, but I got more and more interested as the show went on. It's now something I am seriously considering so I have contacted an organization for further information.
There are specific rules and regulations in Ireland for this kind of donation. I looked into how it works in America.
Donating your body to science can be relatively simple but there are some important regulations that one needs to consider. And there are certain areas that a person won't be able to have a say over -- not just because they are dead but because there is only so much a person can control as to what is done with their body after they die. Their power is quite limited.
So who can donate their bodies?
Most people can, although people with certain infections are not allowed, including AIDS, Hepatitis B or C. Severely underweight or overweight persons may not be appropriate.
Drug addicts or former prisoners may not be suitable, often due to the risk of infections, according to the radio show I listened to. In Ireland, interestingly, those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's after death are not deemed suitable because the cause of Alzheimer's is currently unknown and may be linked to something infectious.
Many people wonder what their bodies will be used for and how they can make certain requests. Like in Ireland, donors can request their bodies be donated to specific places or for specific purposes but these requests cannot be guaranteed.
Bodies go to places with the highest requirements at the time, although the deceased's families will be notified as to what service their loved one has helped in, if the family would like that.
But it will be the tissue bank (the term generally used for organizations that take care of body donations) itself that ultimately decides where your body will go, based on where cadavers are most needed.
Another concern for some is that it may cost money to donate.