By Madeline Binder
Today people are looking into every option that they have to make a little extra money. One of the questions that many people have asked is, “can I get money for donating my body to science?” The answer to this question is usually going to be no.
Donating a Body to Science
When you donate a body to science you are usually doing so as a philanthropic gift. The body is used by various organizations to harvest and study specific body parts. These body parts can be tissues, organs or cells. They are used to advance medical knowledge of the tissues or organs, as well as to help develop cures and treatments for specific diseases and disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease, diabetes and cancers.
How to Donate a Body to Science
The process of donating a body to science is very simple, at least from your end. To start with you will need to determine how much of your body you want to donate. You can select to donate specific tissues or organs to science, or you can donate your entire body. Next you will want to contact the American Association of Tissue Banks to find tissue banks and other research facilities that are accredited. These are the institutions that have standards in place that relate to the ethical recovery of human tissues and organs and that also have standards in place that govern how the tissues are handled and managed once they are harvested.
Each medical research institution is going to have its own rules for donation. Usually, however, it will just involve filling out some forms, answering questions about your medical history and talking with an intake specialist who will answer your questions and process your paperwork.
You are in charge of how much of your body is donated to science. If you want to help medical science find cures and treatments for diseases then you can donate specific tissues to a tissue bank. You can talk to the organization that you will be donating your tissues to about what donation options you have.
Organ donation can be handled in two different ways. First of all you can volunteer to donate your organs for transplant purposes in the event of your death. This is very simple to do as it only involves checking a box on your drivers license. The second option is to donate your organs to science for research. This process will involve working with an organ or tissue bank, or with a specific research institution. It will involve paperwork and an intake interview, both of which will only take a few moments of your time.
Whole Body Donation
If you are interested in donating your entire body to science then you will want to work with an accredited tissue bank organization. They will walk you through your options and help you complete the paperwork that is necessary for donating an entire body. Since your entire body will be utilized by science there will not be a body to bury or cremate. This can be disturbing for some family members, so it is something that will need to be talked about with your family so that they understand what your wishes are.
Dealing With Family Members
Tissue, organ and body donations are easy for the person to make, as for them the process is basically just paperwork. However, for the loved ones that survive the person who donated their body to science, emotional trauma can develop as a result of not understanding or knowing that the person wanted to donate part or all of their body to science. It is because of this that you need to let your family members know that you want to donate all or part of your body to science. This can help lessen the impact upon your death.
Making Money With Your Body Donation
As mentioned earlier, you generally cannot make money by donating your body to science. However, there are a few exceptions. The first exception is if you have a unique disease or unique physical abnormalities. In this case researchers may be willing to pay for your body. Another exception is if you have rare blood. In this case you can may be paid for blood donations and plasma donations. Most people that are healthy can also make money by donating plasma to a plasma bank. Beyond these exceptions you will generally be making your donation to science as a gift and not as a money making proposition.
About the Author: Over the last several decades I have worked to promote science to students. Through experimentation with students’ microscopes and work with science fair projects kids of all ages have learned to be scientifically innovative.
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