Talking with Loved Ones about Body Donation

Death is inevitable. It is uncomfortable to think and talk about. It hurts when it happens to someone we love. It is something we usually have no control over. With some research and preparation, however, we are able to make positive decisions over what happens to our own body following death. From traditional burial to cremation and more, there are many options available. You may want to consider making a more meaningful choice.

Body donation allows the donor and family to contribute toward invaluable research and educational opportunities in the healthcare field. Whole body donation is a selfless act that shows those you leave behind that generosity can also be a legacy. It is vital that you communicate with your family about your desire to donate your body to science. There may be someone who does not agree with your plans, but there are steps you can take to better solidify your desire for donation to come to fruition.

Talking with Loved Ones about Body DonationFirst, make sure you have done your research and know specifically where you want to have your body donated. Complete and sign the paperwork with that institution, and put make this documentation a part of your will. It is also a good idea to provide a copy of this paperwork to your immediate family immediately after you’ve signed it. This helps to make transfer stress free.

Whatever reasons you have to donate your body, share them clearly to your family and loved ones. Perhaps there was a heartfelt encounter that led you to your decision, or you were inspired by someone who made the same decision. It could be that there is specific medical research, like a cure for cancer, that you hope to further with your donation. Be it a noble reason or practical one, take the time to verbalize your desire in person to those who might make decisions following your death. It is worth the effort.

You should not expect your family and friends to embrace the idea right away. It could come as a shock to someone who expected a traditional approach. Just as they listened to you, hear them out and respect their reaction. There could be confusion at your decision, or anger that you want to do something different. Let your loved ones do their own research into the process. Give them time to understand and thank them for their support of your decision even if it is different than what they want.

Hesitation for this decision comes from many directions. Religious customs may come into play. Many family members may think the body donation process is cold and undignified. You may want to invite a family member to speak with a representative of the medical facility or school so that person can share information about the process. Our loved ones play an important role in making the body donation process successful.

A memorial service or celebration of life can still be held even if you have decided to donate your body. There are many avenues of remembrance that your family can choose, and they do not need a body to do so.

St. Louis Body Donation provides an important and thoughtful service to St. Louis and surrounding communities. We are ready to answer your questions about body donation or body donation transportation. Call our team in St. Louis at 314-252-0462 and we’ll walk you through the process and answer your questions.

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