Wednesday, August 17, 2016

News You Can't Use: Body Donations on the Rise at US Medical Schools

Have you considered what you're going to do with your mortal shell after the electrical energy forming your soul is freed into a shadowy afterlife of string-theory immortality? Probably, but what about giving the old meat prison to a medical school so it can fill in for the fetal pig or whatever? With the rising price of cemeteries (people are dying to get it!) it seems like a cheap and highly logical way to keep yourself out of the groundwater. And, if some nebulous benefit other than "Yuck, look at that dead dude" can be applied to our future sawbones, so much the better.

Many U.S. medical schools are seeing a surge in the number of people leaving their bodies to science, a trend attributed to rising funeral costs and growing acceptance of a practice long seen by some as ghoulish.

If I was going to describe our modern age in a single sentence I'd definitely try to find a way to work in "growing acceptance of the ghoulish" or maybe just use that all by itself.

"Not too long ago, it was taboo. Now we have thousands of registered donors," said Mark Zavoyna, operations manager for Georgetown University's body donation program.

I don't really remember there ever being a strong societal outcry about filling out the back of the driver's license, but then I'm not an operations manager at a diploma mill so I should probably hold my tongue.

The University of Minnesota said it received more than 550 cadavers last year, up from 170 in 2002.

Whether all of the cadavers were above average, dontcha know remains unknown.

As of 2014, a traditional burial cost around $7,200, an increase of 29 percent from a decade earlier, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.

Since we're on the topic of student loan debt con-games let's examine another massive shuck job.

"Funerals are expensive. That certainly has something to do with it," Zavoyna said. "Of course, it almost has this snowball effect, where you get five people to donate, and then their families tell another 25 people."

I just can't stop talking to everyone about how I turned over Grandma's corpse to the University of Texas at El-Paso. This might explain why I'm hardly ever invited to parties.

Cadavers are being used for an expanding range of research and training purposes, including the testing of prosthetics and new robotic surgery techniques.  

In the future there will be robot surgery? Like when they put the tires on a car at a Ford plant in Mexico?

Medical researchers are also increasingly relying on human bodies instead of animals.

Thank you "animal rights" nutballs.

Although many programs shun advertising, the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois is buying more newspaper ads to try to boost numbers.

Hey! You with that non-deceased body! Yes, you. Wanna get out of paying Death Inc. after you take the old dirt-nap?

When donations fall short, Duke and other schools turn to private suppliers that obtain cadavers through donation, often in other countries.  

A new shipment of foreign political dissidents, thank goodness!

Some medical schools have experimented with alternatives to real bodies, such as rubber or plastic cadavers, or virtual anatomy courses taught on computers.

I just hate rubbers (bodies that is).

Full Article. 

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.  

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