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Donating Your Body To Science Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1544 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Why should someone donate their body to science? One reason is to help discover causes for diseases and even develop cures for those diseases. Using donated bodies scientists have discovered many reasons why humans develop cancer and because of this are also finding ways to treat it. Scientists are also using human brains which have been donated to help them see how the brains works and to help them treat brain disorders.

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Another benefit of people donating their bodies to science is relieving their families of the expensive of burial. Funeral costs are expensive. In most cases of donation of a body, funeral fees will be paid by the business, hospital or university that is using the body for research. Often they will cremate what was not used and give the families the cremated remains. Other times, they will give the families the body back and pay for the funeral. This is not the case for everybody though, it depends on what the recently deceased person requested in their will. The business, hospital or university will almost always honor what the donors request happens to their bodies.

A third reason someone would donate their body is to help solve crimes. Forensic investigators use bodies to help identify how long someone has been dead after a murder. The forensic investigators can do this by studying the decay that occurs to a body over a period of time. They can also use a body to help show how a person died. To do this, they use donated bodies to demonstrate different wounds that can be caused by various weapons and then compare those wounds to decide what weapon was used in a particular case. As a result, donating your body to science can help solve crimes and stop criminals from committing future crimes.

There are also many reasons why someone would choose not to donate their body to science. One is religion. Although most people believe donating a body is good, they may think that it goes against their religious beliefs. However, most major religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam recognize and allow organ and tissue donations. Most religions even believe that donating a body is a good thing to do and that it is an act of kindness. However, not all religions support this and a few do believe that your body should remain whole and intact after death. Overall, it depends on the person to decide what should happen their body.

Another reason that someone may not donate their body is fear. Many people think that if they were in some kind of accident and were about to die the doctors would not try as hard to save them. A lot of people believe that the doctors will want their organs. This is not true. When someone is rushed into the emergency room doctors do not even know if they are a donor or not. So there is no benefit for the doctor to not try as hard to save a life in the hope of having organs to use. In fact, if it can be proven that the doctor did not make every effort to save a life they can be sued for malpractice. There really is no reason to be afraid to donate your organs or body because a doctor will always try their hardest to save someone if they are about to die.

My final reason that someone may not donate their body is because they feel it will be disgraced and they truth of the matter is that the body does have a chance of being disgraced. Like in the book Stiff when Mary Roach talks about cadavers being used as crash test dummies. Many people would find this to be disgraceful, but it still does not change the fact that these people are helping the world to be safer because it demonstrates what the human body can go through in a crash. When someone does donate their body to science it does have a chance of being disgraced but that should not keep people from doing it. The benefits almost always out way the cost. What one person sacrifices may save the lives of many others.

Many people wonder what donating their body to science can do. One major thing is that it can help save a life. When Mary Roach talks about cadavers being used by medical students helps explain why they need to study the human body. I know that I would not want a surgeon who has never really studied a human body to perform surgery on me. This practice can help save a life because it gives doctors and surgeons experience that they need. When human bodies are used as crash test dummies it helps show what improvements need to be made to our cars to make them safer for us. When an organ is donated it can even save someone’s life. When a body is donated it can help save a life in numerous ways.

Donating a body to science can also help show how diseases impact a body. If the person who donated their body had a disease then doctors and scientists can examine that body to see what effects the disease did to the body and how it effected each of the organs. This will help scientist know how to treat others with the same disease more effectively. For example, if the person donating their body had a disease that affected their brain scientists and doctors can discover new and better ways to operate on a living person or create new medications to lessen or eliminate the effects to the brain. This is important because we need to know how different diseases react with the human body and the medicines that are used to counteract the disease.

Donating a body to science can even help prevent inhumane treatment of animals and save their lives. Modern medicine is beginning to move away from using living animals to experiment on because of animal rights activists. Studies have shown that surgeons who work on human cadavers do far better than those who work on living animals. It is a lot easier to work with patients because of the experience they have with human cadavers instead of animals. They are even working on a new way to make human cadavers’ cardiovascular systems work while they are working on the cadavers. There is so much knowledge that a human body can provide over a living animal to a new doctor or surgeon.

A human cadaver has so much to offer us. Most people have no idea what donating your body can do. It helps us in ways that I never thought possible but learned about as I read the book Stiff. I never realized cadavers were used as crash test dummies or to see how bullets and bombs affect the body. Those who donate give us so much that we do not realize. They have probably saved hundreds of thousands of lives. By donating their bodies they have each opened up new ways to help others.

Everyone who donated their body did it to help others. In my mind, they should be considered heroes because they do so much good for us and aren’t even here to see what they have done.


I personally thought the book Stiff was a good book. I am not one for the more ghoulish parts but overall still thought that it was a good book. I do not think that this would be a book that I would have chosen on my own but I am glad that I had to read this book. When I first got this book I had no idea what donating your body to science actually meant. Although, at this time, I do not plan to donate my body to science, this book actually shown me how much good can come from it. Maybe in the future, as I get older or if my life is at some point affected by a donation, my decision may change. I thought the book was very well written and maintained a good balance between being gross and funny. When I first got the book I really did not want to read it but the more I got into it the more entertaining it became. My favorite part of the book was Chapter 4, Dead Man Driving. There was just something about it that made me laugh even though it seems wrong to use a person’s body as a crash test dummy. It made me wonder, if these people are watching themselves being crashed into a wall, what would they be thinking. Would they still think they made the right decision or would they regret it? This book was one of the more enjoyable books I have read. Over the summer I plan to read more books like Stiff.

Work Cited

· pitz, Marylynne. “donating your body to science.” N.p., 28 Apr. 2010. Infoiho.org. Web. 28 Apr. 2010.· Stolz, Greg. “Dead and gone- but still usefull.” N.p., 28 Oct. 2008. infohio.org. Web. 28 Apr. 2011.· Fiorito, Joe. “Donation to body worlds breaks new boundaries.” N.p., 27 Nov. 2009.

infoiho.org. Web. 28 Apr. 2011.

“The Advantages and Disadvantages of Donating Your Body to Science | Funeral-Tips.com.” | Funeral-Tips.com. Web. 28 April 2011. .

“Leaving a Legacy of Compassion.” PETA Prime: Celebrating Kind Choices. Web. 28 April 2011. Loeben, Greg. “Body and Organ Donation – Should I Donate My Body to Science?” Whole Body Donation for Medical Research, Education and Training. Web. 28 Apr. 2011. .


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