Savvy Senior: How to save money by donating your body to science

Each year, an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 Americans donate their whole body, after death, to medical facilities throughout the country for research. It can spare family the cost of burial, but there are a few things you should know.
BY JIM MILLER For The Oklahoman Published: November 20, 2012
Advertisement
;

• Your family won't be paid: Federal law prohibits buying bodies.

What to do

If you do decide you want to donate your body, it's best to make arrangements in advance with a body donation program in your area. Most programs are offered by university-affiliated medical schools. To find one near you, the University of Florida maintains a list of U.S. programs and their contact information at www.med.ufl.edu/anatbd/usprograms.html.

In addition to the medical schools, there are also a number of private organizations like Anatomy Gifts Registry (anatomicgift.com), BioGift (biogift.org) and Science Care (sciencecare.com) that accept whole-body donations too.

If you don't have internet access, you can get help over the phone by calling the National Family Services Desk,which operates a free body donation referral service during business hours,at (800) 727-0700.

Once you locate a program in your area, call and ask them to mail you an information/registration packet that will explain exactly how their program works.

To sign up, you'll simply need to fill out a couple of forms. But, you can always change your mind by revoking your authorization in writing.

After you have made arrangements, you then need to tell your family members so they will know what to do and who to contact after your death.

It's also a good idea to tell your doctor and put your wishes in writing in your advance directives. These are legal documents that include a medical power of attorney and living will that spell out your wishes regarding your end-of-life medical treatment when you can no longer make decisions for yourself.

If you don't have an advance directive, go to caringinfo.org or call (800) 658-8898 where you can get free state-specific forms with instructions to help you make one.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.



,

Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Report: Caron Butler close to two-year deal with Detroit Pistons
  2. 2
    It’s harder to be a poor student in the U.S. than in Russia
  3. 3
    Man fatally stabbed in west Tulsa early Sunday
  4. 4
    How brain imaging can be used to predict the stock market
  5. 5
    Bridenstine tours Fort Sill, satisfied with facility's transparency
+ show more