How to Save Money By Donating Your Body to Science
Published June 26, 2020
Do I get paid for donating my body to science?
We often receive these questions from people wanting to do whole body donation. And the answer is no, you don’t get paid for donating your body to science. It’s, after all, called “donating” and not “selling”. Most states allow body donation for the sake of science but selling your body is definitely illegal.
There are, however, financial benefits to donating your body to science. Most body donation institutions take care of all body donation related expenses. It’ll help you and your family save up to thousands of dollars on funeral expenses.
What Costs Do Body Donation Institutions Cover?
Body donation institutions have differing policies when it comes to covering expenses. But most of the time, they take care of the following costs for their donors:
When the body donation institution is notified of a donor’s death, they will make arrangements for the body’s transport to their facility. Usually, they partner with a local funeral home or send their own vehicle. Either which, you need not worry about transportation fees.
On average, the cost of cremation in the US is about $2,300. But it can go as high as $6,000 depending on the services included in the package.
If you donate your body to science, you won’t have to worry about cremation expenses. Body donation institutions cover cremation costs for their donors. This includes the payment for an urn to store the cremains in.
3. Death Certificate
Death certificates are necessary when processing documents like government benefits and real estate settlements. Insurance companies will also look for it when processing claims.
In general, the cost of getting one can range from $6 to $25 per copy depending on your state and county. Body donation institutions will also take care of this for you.
4. Ash Disposition
One the donation has concluded, the donor’s cremains is usually returned to the family. Policies vary for each institution but most will take care of the shipping fee.
At Donorcure, donors can choose whether to return their cremains to their family or have it scattered at sea. If they choose the former, the cremains is usually sent back to the family within 8 to 12 weeks via standard post. If they opt for ash scattering, their cremains will be scattered in the crystal blue waters of the Atlantic Gulf Stream.
Whichever option they choose, all related expenses shall be on Donorcure’s account.
Will I Be Able To Have a Funeral?
Yes, it’s possible but you won’t be able to have an open-casket viewing. Your family can, however, arrange for a memorial service or ash scattering ceremony. All expenses for privately arranged funerals will not be covered by body donation institutions.
Will I Qualify as a Body Donor?
Men and women of all ages can donate their bodies to science. But some institutions have restrictions. Most of the time, you can’t become a body donor if you:
- have been diagnosed with communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis B;
- have a history of intravenous drug use, recent prolonged incarceration, institutionalization, homelessness;
- are severely obese or emaciated at the time of death.
How to Donate Your Body to Science
There are two ways to donate your body to science:
- You register as a donor before death. Upon your death, your family will inform the institution you signed up with. Once your donation is approved, they will make all the arrangements for the body donation process.
- Your next of kin or health agent will register you as a body donor upon your death. If you haven’t had the time to register as a body donor while alive but have expressed wishes of doing so, your health agent or legal next of kin may register you for body donation.
There are several institutions and medical schools that offer body donation programs. Some states also have a donor registry you can sign up on.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a firm believer in the power of knowledge when it comes to whole body donation and she wants to share her experience with the world. She also loves to write about food and art.