We would like to explain the differences between each of these end-of-life options in an honest and transparent manner. Here at Science Care, we only coordinate body donation to science.
Body donation to science is gifting the body to a non-transplant tissue bank, like Science Care. Tissue is placed with medical research and training programs to further medical knowledge and advancements. This is one of the most cost-effective options for end-of-life. Learn more about body donation to science here.
Most who register will be accepted. Return of remains vary by program. Unless you register or enroll with a program that offers guaranteed acceptance, donations can be declined at the time of passing (based on needs in current research projects), so alternate arrangements are recommended.
The most important thing is knowing and understanding all your end-of-life options so you can make an informed decision that works best for you and your loved ones. When you research potential providers, remember to ask them about your personal needs, locations, service options, affiliations, and accreditations. Ensure you understand all associated costs and fees, so there are no surprises to your loved ones, and your wishes can be fully honored.
Burial best fits families wanting a traditional viewing or funeral service. The body is typically embalmed for preservation, placed in a casket, and then a cemetery plot. A newer and less traditional approach is Green Burials, an eco-friendly biodegradable casket option, that is generally less expensive.
Costs usually vary based on location, the casket choice, plot, service, transportation, administrative and permitting fees.
Cremation has grown to be the most common end-of-life choice, offering a variety of options for final disposition. The body is reduced to fine particles known as cremated remains. Remains are placed in an urn, interred in a tomb or mausoleum, or scattered over a favorite place.
If direct cremation is chosen, using a cremation service versus a traditional funeral home can help to reduce costs.
The cost can vary greatly depending on the provider and the packages selected. The family can choose from several service options which could impact the final cost.
An organ is gifted from one person to a live transplant recipient, often saving a life. The organ or organs are generally procured at the hospital at the time of passing. Once organ donation is complete, there may be an option for body donation to science versus traditional burial or cremation.
If the wish is to do both organ donation and body donation to science, it is important to sign up for both individually and discuss the wish to donate to both organizations with any loved ones. Compare the two:
Note: There may be costs associated with transportation and final disposition, depending on the option loved ones choose.
The body is gifted to a willed body program at a medical school or teaching hospital, allowing medical students to train before extending care to the public as licensed professionals. The body is embalmed and cremated after 1-3 years. Donations to universities can be declined at the time of passing, so seeking alternate arrangements as a backup plan is recommended.
Many are no cost, but several charge for transportation to the university or have a donation processing fee.