I would like will my body for research in Amyloidosis. What should I do?

People who are considering donating their body to science generally are advised to contact their nearest university medical school, to make transport of the body easiest. Many universities bear all the costs associated with body donation, as long as the body is nearby. Other institutions might require family members to arrange for transport. In most cases, the institution promises to use the body for teaching purposes or medical research. But that can include a variety of uses; so potential donors should ask for a detailed explanation of what types of research might be performed. Although the institution typically decides how and where a body is used, sometimes potential donors and family members can specify the ways they don’t want the body used or direct the donation to a specific researcher.

Many cadavers donated to universities are used for medical students, who dissect every inch of the body. Some questions potential donors should ask are:

  • What steps are taken to preserve the dignity of the deceased, such as wrapping the body and keeping the head covered? Many schools have their own rituals that students use to show respect, including memorial services and "blessing" ceremonies.
  • What happens to a body if a university doesn’t need it, and whether auditing systems are in place to track how the body is used?
  • Does the university itself distribute the bodies to other researchers and institutions or do they employ a private body broker, which is less accountable to a donor’s family?
  • What happens to a body when the research is complete? Many medical schools cremate the bodies. Some hold memorial services, and family members may be allowed to attend. A few universities promise to return remains to family members.

People who work in “willed-body programs” say the most important thing is for potential donors or family members to make all of their concerns known. For example, in the case of amyloidosis patients, to will their body provides the medical student with first hand knowledge of the disease. Hopefully, experiencing amyloidosis now will aid the student in diagnosing and treating a patient in the future is that student when practicing medicine. Also, perhaps it will attract another “mind” to do research in human amyloidosis that we so desperately need.

For more information contact Anatomical Gift Association Of Illinois. 2240 West Fillmore Street, Chicago, Illinois 60612 [312-733-5283] [1-800-734-5283 ] http://www.anatomical-gift.org/