Donating your body to science helps foster medical education and research while providing cremation and final interment at no cost to the family.

It’s a relatively easy way to minimize the cost of cremation, but you need to plan ahead. You also need to have a Plan B, as well as a Plan C if your initial body donation plans don’t work out.

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Medical Schools

Cadavers are used for surgical education, disease research, creating and improving medical instrumentation and studying tissues and organs. Most medical schools only accept whole body donations, meaning all organs are still in the body, with the exception of corneal donations.

University medical programs may hold on to the cadaver and not return cremated remains for up to three years. Keep this long timeline in mind when planning any memorial service with the anticipation of having cremated remains present.

Also, recognize that the medical school may not take the body at time of death for any reason.

 

Organ Donation
Organ donation is a separate program and procedure that helps save lives in the event of a tragic accident. Only an intact, full body donation is eligible for the coverage of cremation and interment fees.

 

Who Is Eligible?
Most people are eligible for body donation, regardless of age or medical conditions at death. However, there are exceptions. If the person has or had a communicable disease such as hepatitis, HIV/AIDS and/or tuberculosis, severe obesity or edema (fluid swelling) or the body has experienced decomposition or trauma, that body will not be eligible.

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