We’re all going to die.
It’s a sad and terrible thing to say but it’s true.
The sooner we get that idea implanted into our heads, the sooner we can actually start living our lives tomorrow.
Well, unless they invent immortality or something in the next 50 years.
When you actually look at death, you realise it’s very complicated.
There are lots of different things surrounding it, like what happens with our bodies, and the cost surrounding dying.
These days funerals are so expensive, I wonder if I can even afford to die!
One thing some people decide to do with their bodies after they die is donate it to science. Well, I suppose they won’t be needing it!
Donating your body to science is very different than donating your organs for a number of reasons.
You can donate your body to organisations like MedCare and Science Care, who will then do one of a number of different things with your body.
It may sound grim to you and me, but it’s all apart of contributing to the greater good!
Here’s exactly what happens when you donate your body to science!
1. The forensics farm.
The University of Tennessee is one of the most famous body farm in the world (though that doesn’t mean to say we don’t have a lot in this country).
The university’s Forensic Anthropology Center has been studying the way bodies decompose under a number of circumstances for decades.
Sounds weird, but it’s actually very helpful! By studying this, they are able to help detectives when investigating incidents, and helping them to determine the cause of time and death in different environments.
2. Join the world’s largest skeleton collection.
The University of Tennessee has an incredibly large collection of skeletons.
They currently have a skeleton which is made up from 1,000 individual people!
According to the university, they use them to “varying academic and medico-legal institutions”.
Students can even gain access to this collection and visit by sending out a form that specifies the nature of their research.
3. Car crash test dummy.
Some people may not be a fan of this one, but it’s actually saving lives!
You see, there’s only so much plastic dummies can tell us about how an accident can impact and affect the human body. That’s where they use a dead body to fill in the gaps.
Companies like Ford have used real bodies in order to perfect things when it comes to things like their inflatable rear seat belts.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration works with research institutes to make sure they make cars safer with a little help from real-life dummies.
It’s obviously no secret that the army is 10 years ahead of us when it comes to their gear and their technology.
But just like car crashing, there’s only so much plastic dummies can tell us about how to improve the safety of the technology they’re using.
Back 1999, researchers used bodies to test minesweeping footwear and see how much damage a soldier would receive if a mine was detonated from underneath.
5. Medical devices tester.
It’s not just medical students who get to learn about the body by practising on dead people!
For obvious reasons, bodies play an important role in how medical science moves forward!
From new medical instruments to procedures, and different ways to treat conditions (with reduce healing time) these are just some of the things that researchers can find using a dead body.
6. A museum exhibition.
You’ve probably been to a museum that displays real bodies and skeletons behind glass cases, well those are some very kind people who donated their body to science.
Bodies that make it to a museum after being preserved through a process called plastination. It’s where the blood and water in the body get replaced by certain types of plastic, which stops decay.
7. Become a trauma victim.
Trauma doctors, nurses, and paramedics need to learn how to deal with different traumas, because during their career, they’ll deal with a lot of gunshots, stabbings, blunt force trauma, falls,and all sorts of stuff.
It’s important that doctors know how to treat these injuries, and that’s why they need bodies!
8. Practice dummy for surgeons.
Surgery is a pretty delicate thing, you’ve got to be precise with every movement.
They can’t just Google how to fix a slashed artery after all!
Fully licensed doctors and surgeons sometimes lead groups of medical students through complex and life-saving surgeries, with dead bodies. This means they’ll learn everything perfectly.
9. Med school.
As I mentioned, this is the most commonly assumed destination of bodies that have been donated to science.
They go on to help people learn, to save life, and to teach doctors!
Medical students go on to learn all sorts of procedures. It’s pretty incredible!
I know donating your body can seem like a big thing to do, and it actually helps a lot of people!
But it’s a daunting thought for many. So if it’s not something you’d do, would you consider donating an organ instead?
You can save lives too by donating your organs, which is very separate from donating your body to science.
Currently, there 123,000 people who are in desperate need of an organ transplant. By becoming an organ donor, your contribution could save dozens of lives!
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