4 Seniors: What to consider when donating your body to Science

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OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s a sign of change in our society.

U.S. medical schools are seeing a surge in the number of people leaving their bodies to Science.

An estimated 20,000 Americans donate their whole body after death, each year, to medical facilities throughout the country where the bodies are then used in medical research projects, anatomy lessons and surgical practice.

Some see it as a way to eliminate funeral and burial costs, as well as helping to advance medical research.

It’s a boon to researchers and medical students.

Once your body is used, facilities will then provide a free cremation. Your ashes will then buried or scattered, or returned to family members.

Savvy Senior Editor Jim Miller stopped by to answer questions and to talk about the reasons behind the trend and how people make this choice.

  1. Are all bodies accepted?
    • Most body donation programs will not accept bodies that are extremely obese, or those that have infectious diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis, HIV or MRSA. Bodies that suffered extensive trauma will not be accepted either.
  2. Can you also be an organ donor and a body donor?
    • Most programs require that you donate your whole body in its entirety. So if you want to be an organ donor (with the exception of your eyes), you will not qualify to be a whole body donor too.
  3. Who can you contact in Oklahoma to do this?
    • University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Will Body Program in Oklahoma City.
      • 405-271-2424; Ext. 1
    • Oklahoma State University Center for Health Services Body Donor Program in Tulsa.
      • 918-561-8446

Click here to learn more about donating your body to science. You can also contact United Tissue Network.