The decision to donate one's body to medicine can be a tough one. Knowing that nerdy little med students will have their fingers on your brain, in your abdomen, or in other unfathomable places is hopefully outweighed by the fact that your carcass will be used to train future physcians and provide valuable organs for transplant instead of rotting in the ground.
However, the recent discovery of a Brooklyn mortician and often-sued former dental surgeon who were carving up corpses for parts to sell to legitimate transplant businesses may make some reconsider. The two turned bone for dental implants and skin and fat for cosmetic procedures into a full-time business, earning up to $7,000 a body since sometime in 2002. And if anything could possibly make this story more gruesome, many of their victims were actually unidentified John Doe's whose true post-mortem wishes were never known.
In the wake of the Schiavo fiasco, we have to think about what our own plans are for when we kick off. Donating one's body to science or one's organs to another may be the last, and possibly most, generous gift one can give from the grave - other than throwing a kickass funeral. For more information on organ donation, please visit http://www.organdonor.gov.
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