A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Body Farm


This post was inspired by Episode 68 of the podcast Criminal titled All the Time in the World. Here is the description of the episode from iTunes:

“The “body farm” at Texas State University is a place almost no one except researchers and law enforcement are able to see, because it's one of the very few places in the world that deliberately puts out human bodies to decompose in nature. Forensic Anthropologists observe decomposition in order to help law enforcement determine when and how someone may have died. We asked if we could visit, and they agreed.”

I had heard of “The Body Farm” before, but I thought there was only one and it was in Quantico, Virginia. Well, there are actually six, and while there is one in Virginia, the Texas State University body farm is the biggest one, at 26 acres!

Apparently, there are three ways a body farm can acquire a body. A medical examiner can donate an unclaimed body, a family can donate a loved one's body, or a person can fill out the proper paperwork before they die to ensure that their body gets donated.

You can tell where this is going, right?

Now listen, obviously if I die and my organs are healthy enough that they can be donated, I want to do that. They can take everything... organs, corneas, ligaments, bones... Someone may as well be helped by my body when I am dead, right?

But hopefully I will die an old lady, so old that no one wants my old, decrepit organs! Then what? Well, the body farm sounds like an interesting choice! I always envisioned being cremated and someone would cherish my cremains. But really, who is going to cherish my cremains? Paul and I aren't having children...

Maybe just decomposing into the earth is the most natural way? And if Forensic Anthropologists could learn something from it, that would be pretty cool, right?

Of course I wanted to learn more about what you can do with your body after you die. So I found this article on CNN called 10 Uses For Your Body After You Die. These are the ten listed:

  1. Donate your organs.
  2. Donate your tissue.
  3. Will your body to a university for medical students to use.
  4. Help doctors practice their skills. (There is a place in Tennessee that actually pays for your body to be transported as well as for it to be cremated and given back to your family when they are done using it.)
  5. Leave your body to a body farm. (Family does not get your remains back with this route. I guess it would just be bones by the time you decompose anyway.)
  6. Become a crash test cadaver.
  7. Give your body to a broker. (This means someone else will be in charge of donating your body to scientific research and you normally don't get a say in where you go or what kind of research is done for you. However, they do pay for your transport to the facility, cremation, and return your cremains to your family when they're done.)
  8. Send your body on tour. (Ever hear of the Body Worlds exhibit!?)
  9. Become a skeleton for scientific research.
  10. Become a skeleton on display at a museum.

These are such fascinating choices! I still think my first choice is to donate all organs and tissues to anyone who can use them, and then be cremated and given to my family.

But if I'm an old lady when I die and my organs aren't good for anything, then I say ship me to the body farm where I can just decompose and go into the earth. And also researchers can use my body to help SOLVE CRIME!!!!
Do you have big plans for your body after you die? 

Have you even though about it? What's your plan? 

Does anything on this list sound like something you would do? 

Is there anything on this list that you wouldn't do?

15 comments:

  1. I will donate my organs & tissues and whatever else they can use for medical research. I have this wish listed on my license, my RoadID and Rick knows my wishes, too. My brother in law died 3 years ago and today we honor him at the Donor Dash as he saved 3 lives with his organs. Even though Jason is gone, his heart beats on in someone else.

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    1. What an amazing gift we can give after we die if our organs are healthy enough! Have you ever met the person who received his heart? Would you want to?

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    2. I completely agree. It's not my choice about meeting the recipients but if Judy and Kyle ever want to meet anyone who received his organs, then YES, for sure.

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  2. I am a BIG fan of organ donation. One of my friends is an organ recipient. He runs and sponsors a ton of races here in town (most races in fact). His lungs came from a teenage boy who committed suicide and now there's a race in his memory, which Lorcan runs. If my organs and tissues are usable, I defnitely want them donated to someone who can use them or some higher (medical) purpose.

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    1. I'm with ya on that one! I can't think of a silver lining for dying other than saving other's lives.

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  3. Wow, this is deep stuff! I try not to think about this stuff because as someone who also does not have children, it can be sad to think about yet it also puts in to perspective how insignificant we really are in this world. Donating any part of ourselves (or our entire body) is certainly a good way for our lives to have "value" after we are gone.

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    1. I know, like as important each one of us is, we're just one BODY on an earth of billions of people. It's crazy how insignificant and significant we can be.

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  4. i am donating my organs if possible - if that's not possible then scientific research sounds like a great idea. I didn't know you could do that but I will look into it. Thanks!

    I don't need my remains to be returned since Adam and I won't have any kids, and we already know at after a certain age we won't adopt any more pets since we won't have anyone to take care of them after we pass. Not that any pets would want our remains anyway hah!

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    1. I think I will always want to have pets, but when I get to a certain age, I will only get one if I know for SURE there is someone who is willing to take them when I am gone. And it can't just be anyone, it would have to be someone who would love it as much as I do! In fact, I may make people fill out applications. :)

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  5. Have you read Stiff ? It is an excellent book! it talks about all the things that happen to a body after it dies, and what they do with cadavers that are donated. It's an excellent book.

    I want my body cremated... the idea of being buried in a metal box for the rest of eternity terrifies me !!

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    1. I have not but I really want to read it. Thanks for reminding me!

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  6. OMG, I've never heard of body worlds! I am intrigued...
    I want to donate my organs and donate the rest of me to the medical board. I can at least contribute to life in some way.
    We donated my Dad and because he has so many health issues, they couldn't use his organs, but they used his skin for burn patients, his eyes went to someone, and medical students did training with him. He was cremated almost a year after he passed away. It hurt getting his ashes, it kind of made me sad all over again, but i am thankful now some good came from him for someone else.

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    1. Wow, it is amazing all the good your dad could do even after he passed away, even though he couldn't donate organs. That is good to know. I know you can donate bones too because on Big Brother one of the contestants crushed her foot so she got a cadaver bone! Paul and I went to see Body Worlds a long time ago. It was really cool! It wasn't gross to me or anything.

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  7. My sister is donating her body for a specific brain research area, and I want to donate mine for other medical research. There is a good amount of paperwork involved that I started from Hershey Med...and I haven't completed that yet, I should put that on my summer to do list...

    Anyway, I heard about the body farm before! A friend's mom wants to donate hers there. I'm so glad more people are getting on board with donations of corporal remains. The funeral industry and cementary space is very expensive and takes up a lot of space. It makes you wonder, what will happen in the future to cementaries that are full and hundreds of years old if greenspace and land is in need for increasing population size and food demands.

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    1. I should start figuring out paperwork too. Dying is VERY expensive, it's crazy! But I'm glad more people are donating and creating because we are gonna run out of room.

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