Can I Have Your Body When You Are Done With It!

by DavalosMcCormack on November 17, 2009

When I die I am going to donate my body to science.  I figure that after many years as a journalist specializing in health, and now working for a hospital, that I have made a good living out of medicine and so should give something back – even if it is my discarded old carcass.

I don’t care what they do with my body, whether they use it for first year medical students to dissect, or they stick it under a tree at the Body Farm down in Tennessee, just as long as they take out all my functioning organs beforehand and give them to other people who might benefit.

Shirley is also going to donate her body to science, but with one stipulation; whatever they decide to do with her, she has to have on sunglasses.  Even in death she wants to look cool! That seems reasonable to me.

I know some people get squeamish at the thought of their body being sliced and diced but I really don’t mind what happens to me once I’m gone. If there is an afterlife and a God and a heaven, I shan’t need my body to get there. And if there isn’t, then I really won’t need it. So what the heck, someone else may benefit by my demise!

I bring this up only because of something I read recently about Spain’s organ donation program. In Spain it is pretty much assumed that you are going to donate your organs after death, unless you specify otherwise. In this country it’s the other way around.

I’ve only ever been to Spain once and that was really only passing through on my way from France to Portugal, but everyone I know who has been there says its a very cool place, the people are great, and they have some of the best football (soccer) teams in the world so I’m already a fan.

Add to that the fact that they think that organ donation is so important that you have to stand up and say “no” if you don’t want your organs harvested after death and used to save other people’s lives, then I’m thinking that this is a country we could all learn a lot from.

In the U.S. the organ donation rate is pitiful. There are close to 80,000 people on the organ donor waiting list and one in four of those will die before an organ becomes available. One in four. How horrible to be one of those people, or a husband or wife or mum or dad or sister or brother or friend or lover of one of those people and know that the one thing you need to save their life is available every single day, if only the person who had it said “yes”.

It’s such a simple thing. Such a simple thing. None of the world’s major religions have any rules against it. There’s no real downside for the individual donating – after all, you are already dead – but for those receiving there is an enormous benefit. You get a second chance at life.

What a wonderful thing to do. For some of us the most profound thing we may ever do in life is departing it and giving nine other people a shot at a better life. That’s a pretty cool parting present.

It’s also a pretty cool Christmas present. So this holiday season why not think about signing that organ donor card. I’m not suggesting you go out and do anything to make those organs immediately available, but by signing on as a donor, and telling your family about your wishes, you may one day make an enormous difference in someone’s life.

You never know, it could save someone you love.

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