I live in a part of the world where donating bodies to either science or to other people is not that popular. Relatives you never knew existed would come out from wherever and claim kinship to the corpse so they can receive consolation monies from others. It is even said my people love corpses…perhaps a little too much than when their relatives are alive. There are countless stories of people who passed very poor and ill who had relatives put together lavish funerals in their honor. I can’t help and wonder the logic behind spending so much on a lifeless body just to show off to others whiles denying him the needed help when he was alive. Maybe I’ll never get it.
Come to think of it, choosing to donate your body would be such a relief to a Ghanaian family considering the cost involved but something tells me extended family members would not be happy with it and would even fight to keep ownership of the cadaver. But I think instead of letting the body rot away, it would be considerate to donate it or parts of it to a noble cause.
Donating your body to science is a thoughtful one as you give student scientists the opportunity to learn about the human anatomy and what to do to what organ in order to save one from a particular condition. There on the table, being sliced open and stitched close over and over again, you lose your identity-you’re just a canvas. But at least you help someone to become a great doctor one day.
Donating your body to people who need it on the other hand, is a selfless act whose value can’t be appreciated enough. Why subject healthy organs to rot six feet down when you can save another’s life by donating them? This way, you continue to live…in a way. You would always be remembered for your priceless gift. It’s a cool way to keep on ‘living,’ don’t you think?
Donating to science means offering your body to be used to discover more about the human anatomy-who knows what breakthrough doctors could make thanks to your body? Whereas donating to people means you are offering help to those who need it urgently at the moment. Both are thoughtful but one seems more ‘beneficial’ than the other or does it?
Per what I’m aware of, most of the cadavers students get to work on belong to unclaimed bodies-possibly those of armed robbers and deformed babies abandoned by their mothers. They may not be enough for the students to use, forcing them to overuse the poor corpses. But I think I’d rather donate it to people who are in need of my parts. At least, I’d be remembered somehow compared to the ones on the lab tables slashed open by the doctors-considered as nothing but a canvas.
I’d only consider donating it to science when my parts are not going to be of help to anyone but if there is any such person, I’d rather let them have what is left of me.
What about you? What would you rather do and why? Kindly share your thoughts.
© Josephine Amoako 2017