It feels good to give, whether it’s helping the homeless or donating your old clothes to Goodwill. The giving doesn’t have to stop when you’re gone. You can be charitable in death by donating your body. Even though it sounds a little creepy, there are some legitimate uses for your body after you’re finished with it. Here are a few, courtesy of CNN.
- First, you can donate your organs and tissue. Did you know that 19 people die every day waiting for a kidney, heart, lung, or liver match? By donating your organs, you can save a life. Your bones, ligaments, heart valves, and corneas can also save someone’s life, or change it for the better. To find out about organ and tissue donation, visit OrganDonor.gov. Make sure you discuss your wishes with family members so there won’t be any confusion when you die.
- You can also will your body to a university. By allowing first-year medical students to dissect your cadaver, you’ll be helping future doctors learn about the human body first-hand, and make them better at what they do. To find a list of medical schools, go to the Association of American Medical Colleges at AAMC.org.
- Another use for your body after you’re gone: Helping doctors practice their skills, whether they’re learning new techniques, or brushing up on old ones. For example, the Medical Education and Research Institute in Memphis is a training facility for neurological surgery, brain surgery, and spinal injections. If you’d like to be a part of this research, they’ll pay to transport your remains to Memphis, and to cremate your body when they’re done. Their website is MERI.org.
- The final thing you can do after death: Send your body on tour. Your body can be part of the hugely popular ‘Body Worlds’ touring exhibit, which uses injected plastic to preserve bodies and make them appear life-like, with all the muscles and organs on display. You can donate your body to the Institute for Plastination in Germany.