2012-03-21 “Donating My Body To Science”

Awhile ago I talked about the importance of organ donations.  This week I want to take it one step further and talk about the “Body Bequeathal Program” at the University of Western Ontario or more commonly referred to as “donating my body to science”.  Participating in the Body Bequeathal Program is a very unselfish act.  By doing this, you will be helping tomorrow’s doctors, dentists and health researchers to make this world a better world. 

There are some things that you need to know if you are considering bequeathing your body.  Despite your best intentions, not all bodies are considered acceptable for donation.  Under no circumstances will a body be considered for donation if the person who passed away had dementia including Alzheimer’s disease or an infectious disease such as hepatitis, tuberculosis or AIDS etc.  If a person has been deceased longer than 48 hours, the body will not be accepted to the program. 

The absolute most important part of the Body Bequeathal Program for you is to let your executor and your family know your wishes.  If you only include those instructions in your will, it could be too late by the time your will is read to bequeath your body.  Ultimately the University prefers that a body is delivered within 12 hours of death.  That means that we have to move quickly since there is paperwork that needs to be completed before that can happen.   

Costs to your estate associated with body bequeathal are minimal and all expenses in connection with the ultimate cremation and interment will be borne by the University.   We have forms here from The University of Western Ontario that you can take and complete…you can leave a copy with your family and your executor and you can leave a copy here if that is your wish so that the information is quickly available.  We also have brochures available to answer many questions that you may have.  If there is enough interest, the University of Western Ontario will come here and do an information seminar…just let me know if you or a group who would like to attend that.