We’ve all heard of the term “six degrees of separation” — the theory that any person on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.
Well, the same concept applies to you and a body donor. Only in this case, the degree of separation is much less.
Ever had a surgery, or had a friend or family member go through surgery? Chances are, the doctor who performed the surgery, at some point in their career trained using donated human tissue. If you had the surgery yourself, the only person standing between you and the donor is the surgeon.It’s amazing when you think about it. You, your friend, or your family member had a successful surgical outcome in part, because someone was generous enough to want to donate their body to science, which in turn, allowed the surgeon to train on the procedure using real human tissue.
The human body is extremely complex, and many sophisticated surgical procedures can’t be adequately taught from a book or even by practicing on animal tissue. Ask yourself this: Would you want to undergo a complex surgery with a surgeon who never trained using real human tissue?
The bottom line is that we are all connected to body donation in one way or another. Some people reading this post may be connected because they’ve had a close friend or family member who donated their body to science. Others, may be connected through a recent surgical procedure they or a loved-one had to implant a medical device, repair a torn ligament, remove a tumor or repair a serious fracture, just to name a few.
Unfortunately, most people throughout the country are unaware of the fact that donating your body to science is even an option for end of life planning. Isn’t it about time we all connected and had the conversation?