Be Thrifty: Donate Your Body to a Medical School

by Ellen Mason, Hotline Attorney

We’re the “do-good generation.” The generation that grew up in the 60’s. The generation whose mantra was “peace and love.” No wonder you’ve intended to donate your organs since you were in your 20’s. But let’s face it: nobody wants a 75-year-old heart; 72-year-old cataract-surgery eyes; a hip that’s been replaced twice; and on-and-on. (We have more rusty parts than a ’52 Chevy.)

What to do? Be thrifty: donate your body to one of Michigan’s medical schools. Why is that thrifty? Because after the medical school has finished studying your body, it will return your cremated ashes to your family. There will be no charge for the cremation. There may be incidental charges (such as transportation of the body to the medical school), and charges vary by school, but it would cost substantially less than funeral home fees.

Michigan has three medical schools which accept donations of an anatomical gift.

Wayne State University
Wayne State accepts body donations from southeastern Michigan, including the thumb area. The university pays expenses involved for the transportation of the body. Find more on Wayne State program here

University of Michigan
You can get information about donations to the University of Michigan here. You can get more donor information and if the donor’s legal representation requests that the ashes be buried at U of M, the deceased will be interred at a place designated by U of M. The university holds a yearly ceremony for family and friends, which about 1000 people attend each year.

Michigan State University
You can get information about MSU’s donation program and forms and you can get general information about body donation here.

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