Family Members’ Perspectives About Body Donation
Published September 4th, 2019
Nowadays, there are a lot of people who are considering donating their bodies to science.
For them, it’s their way of helping the future generations have a better and progressive world of medicine. And for some, it’s also their way of keeping their family from spending too much money once they die.
But when our loved ones die, we often want to acknowledge it by having a funeral or memorial service. So can the family of the body donor be able to do this? Yes, they can if they choose to. Most body donation organizations give families the option to either return the cremated remains to them or scatter it at sea.
You may also wonder, what does the family of a whole body donor think about body donation?
Does the family of the body donor ignore the donor’s decision? Do they disregard the dying wish of their loved ones? Or they accept it whole-heartedly so that their loved one can leave a lasting legacy?
Here are some family members’ perspectives about body donation.
It’s The Memories That Matter
Sometimes when a family member opens up the idea of being a whole-body donor, it usually is a shock for the family. Especially for those who don’t have enough information yet about how it works.
But once they understand its purpose, the families usually accept it.
For instance, Margaret Plotkin, whose father was a polio survivor lived with a deformity for 84 years. She said that her father really wanted to have his body donated to science. So they did, without any hesitation.
They were able to receive their father’s cremated remains six weeks after he died. In that case, they were still able to have a nice memorial service.
She said that even if they hadn’t gotten the ashes back, they will still put up a grave marker for him. Here’s what she said about the idea of the body being donated to Science right after the passing.
It’s the memories that matter, and I can go over them anytime, anywhere, and often do.
For her, with or without the body, the effect would still be the same. They will still be able to remember his father, and his memories are what will remain forever.
It’s Hard But It Makes Them Feel Proud
When your loved one tells you their idea of donating their bodies to science once they die, it’s natural to be uneasy with it. Of course, it is hard to accept not doing the norms.
Raj’s father’s remains were donated to a teaching hospital to help research. He said that it was really difficult for him at that time to leave his father’s remains. Especially that body donation is still not common in his religion and country. But he had to fulfill his father’s dying wish.
This reaction is understandable. Not everybody can fully accept this type of donation. Especially when the family is still mourning for the loss.
However, others feel proud of the idea of whole-body donation. Here’s what other people have to say about it.
Alyssa Wolfe says,
This has not happened to me, but I know that I would feel proud of any relative who donated their body to science.
For her, whole body donation not only helps scientists cure the current medical problems, but it also helps future generations to live in a world where science has already progressed.
Just like what Margaret said about memories, Alyssa then continued:
They have already died – their body isn’t a part of them anymore. There is nothing to “visit” – only memories. Even if I felt differently, no one’s body is mine to control while they are alive, and that still holds true even after they have died.
These are just a few statements from other people about the whole-body donation. Some find it hard to accept, and some love the idea of it.
All these views and family members’ perspectives about body donation are understandable and are just natural reactions. At the end of the day, all we want is to fulfill and honor our loved ones dying wish.
Thinking About Donating Your Body to Science?
DonorCure can help you fulfill your wish of donating your body to science. We connect medical research professionals with body donors. Together, we can shape the future of medicine and create a better future for humanity.
Start building your legacy by downloading our whole body donation forms now.
Interested In Our Company?
DonorCure is a company that connects body donors with the researchers who will use their contribution to further science and make the world a better place. Learn more about how to donate your body to science on our website and register online.
About The Author
As a nurse, Franchette Agatha Jardin firmly believes in the importance of understanding the human body and the advancement of science. She writes about what people can do for the betterment of the world and how everyone can be part of something great.