It's what Mom would have wanted......... Well, trust me, Mom WOULD NOT! have wanted this.
"My Condolences! Give your loved one to me so I can resell the body for thousands of dollars..."
Would donating my body to science save my family a great deal of money that would be have been spent on a traditional casket/burial plot/etc? And about how much do those things cost these days? It seems awfully expensive to die nowadays.
The procedure to donate your body varies depending on your state. For example, in Michigan you donate your body directly to the university of your choice, but in Maryland you donate your body to a central organization which then disperses the cadavers to universities in the state. Your best bet is to start with the large university near you (you'll have the most luck with a university that has a medical school). You'll want to search the body donation company's website to find their anatomy department, and there will usually be a link on that page for "body donation," "willed body program," or something similar. If you don't see what you're looking for, you can always try calling the company and asking about it.
Most body donations are arranged before death, as the person actually donating their body often has to consent. You would actually be willing your body to the company at the time of your death. They will send you paperwork (or have it available online) that you fill out and then file with the company and with your legal paperwork. They will also often give you a wallet card to carry.
How to Start
Ask yourself this, if whole body donation is strictly for anotomical research (non transplant stuff), why would they be concerned about tissue that carries infectious diseases that die when the body dies or weight, heart condition or liver condition?
Anyways, these things can change between the time that you sign the papers and the time that you die, so they don't make the final determination until you actually die. If they don't take your body, your family is responsible for the funeral costs unless the donation company has a (will pay for cremation, guaranteed) clause.
After the donation company is done with your body, it will be cremated. The family has the option of getting the ashes back at that time (sometimes). If the family does not want the ashes back, they will be buried in a grave with the other bodies that were cremated that year (each body in a separate container, in one grave, or are they?).
(READ CLOSELY) The time that the body will be used can range from 6 months to years, depending upon the facilities policies and the use of your body. Mind you, 6 months to a year is how long the body will sit in a freezer waiting to be thawed then used. Prior to freezing, the head, arms and legs may be removed from the torso so it can be used solely for experimental surgeries or educational training. It is not pretty.
So yes, if you donate your body, there are no final costs to your family. If your body isn't accepted, then the next cheapest alternative is cremation (skip the viewing), and a small memorial service if allowed by the funeral home if the ashes are returned. A donation company can only reimburse a funeral home for the cost of the cremation only, nothing more. Thus, the funeral home still gets the cremation payment and the body donation company still gets the body, it's a win, win situation. Not allot of compassion, just business.
Many Funeral Homes advertise this "Free Cremation Service" with an airplane cremation scattering over the Rockie Mountains, A Scattering at sea in the Bahamas, even go so far as to tell you they will scatter at the deceaseds favorite place with a video and everything (plaque, certificate, Bla Bla Bla).......... In the end, they may end up like this. Im sure the families in the following story never expected this.....
Some funeral home OWNERS have even gone so fare as to open up whole body donation facilities (separate from the funeral home) routing the families of dying individuals to their funeral homes so in the end (no pun intended), the deceased ends up going full circle and the body donation company does not have to pay out to anyone for the cremation fee's. I mean those "Administrative duties" ends up being paid back to the same people that own both companies....., it is a mess.
If you go to a Body Donation website and they refer you to a specific funeral home, well, you got it! OR if you go to a specific Funeral Home website, and they refer you to a specific Body Donation website..... AGAIN, you got it!
Prices for Body Parts (taken from Annie Cheney's.....
Body Brokers: Inside America’s Underground Trade in Human Remains - 2006
Hand (each) $350-$85
Leg (each) $700–$1000
Vagina W/Clitoris $650-$850 (who would want this? What if it was your Mothers?)
Whole Cadaver $5500–$6500 (Notice how this is about the price of a Funeral?)
As you can see, this is not about compassion, this is not about trying to save humanity or doing the right thing or whatever THEY want to call it or however they try to make it look legitimate or compassionate, it is about greed and profit. You are being conned into donating your loved one to a person and a company you do not know so the CEO's and staff can get wealthy off of your generosity, good will and loved one body that will be sold off in the form of those administrative fees long after you say goodbye. They will sit in a freezer until it all passes, them taken out and auctioned off. This is the bottom line of whole body donation is. Don't be fooled.
There are a few good Non-Profits out there,
Louis and Gerald Garzone, a pair of brothers who ran a funeral home in Philadelphia, pleaded guilty in September 2008 to selling corpses to a body parts trafficking company. The trafficking company obtained bodies from funeral homes in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, and without family permission or medical tests, dissembled the bodies. They sold the parts (some diseased) to businesses across the United States be used for knee and hip replacements, dental implants, and more. The mastermind of the trafficking ring, Michael Mastromarino, also plead guilty to his charges.