The University of British
Columbia call it a “Unique Contribution”, and it is increasingly growing
in popularity, especially with the baby boom generation. What is
it? Whole Body Donation, otherwise known as leaving one’s body to
science, it has also been referred to as “The Gift of Life”.
Canadians today are becoming
much more open to the option of donating their body to science. This openness
about what death means brings with it new values, preferences, and opinions
that are changing traditions and creating funeral alternatives. People
want alternatives to funeral arrangements and choices concerning the final
disposition of their bodies.
Whole body donation to science
is currently the fastest growing trend among funeral alternatives. People
are seeking alternatives to the traditional burial or cremation options.
The option of body donation gives individuals a real way to support medical
advances that impact the lives of future generations, and thus a death
can be seen as giving value to the advancement of science and providing
a ‘gift’ of life.
In Canada, you can donate
your body to science by bequeathing your body to one of the medical Universities
across the Provinces. There are 17 Medical Schools in Canada that
accept anatomical donations. This is a direct means by which to support
the advancement and development of medical science and training, which
ultimately saves lives. The medical University in your Province ordinarily
covers all costs for collecting a donated body, the cremation of remains,
and the return of cremated remains to the family, although arrangements
may vary, so it is advisable to check directly with the Medical School
Body donation can be made
at the time of death, or a bequeathal can be made as part of a last will
and testament. Enrolling in a Body Donation programme can be a way
of ‘gifting life’, and also removes the burden of making this decision
from loved ones’ at a time of loss.