Did you know that organ donation is not your only philanthropic option after death? You also have the option to donate your entire body to a medical school. Such a gift may help medical students learn how to save lives or assist medical researchers with advancements.
So, how can you be certain that your wishes to donate your body to medicine will be honored. The only way to be sure is to plan ahead. You can speak with medical schools in your state or other states – find out the benefits of their program, how the process works, and how your family will be affected.
Many medical schools allow you to pre-arrange your donation. If you don’t want to make prior arrangements, be sure your estate planning documents clearly state your wishes.
State Your Plans
You can use a Living Will, Advanced Medical Directive, or Health Care Power of Attorney to state your intentions regarding donating your body. Your health care agent will have the ability to sign your body over to the medical institution upon your death. If you decide to donate your body, you cannot be an organ donor. Most medical institutions will only accept whole body donations.
Speak with Your Family
If you decide to donate your body to medicine, it is a good idea to speak with your loved ones about your plans. Post-death emotions may run high and some family members may not be on board with your decision. By speaking with them, you will be able to explain your reasons and ask that your wishes be honored.
Although a medical institute cannot pay your family for the gift of your body, they often assist with burial and cremation costs. Having these final acts taken care of can be an emotional benefit to your family.
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