Life After Death: Ten Uses For Your Body After You Die

By John W. Davis

February 8, 2011 Updated Feb 8, 2011 at 7:13 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - In life, many of us feel it's better to give than receive. But how about in death?

Indiana's NewsCenter has a special report airing Tuesday Night at 11 p.m.

Ten ways you can put your body to use after you die.

All ten, are different ways you can donate your body.

"Organ and tissue donation... It's really a wonderful thing. It's truly the gift of life," said McComb & Sons Funeral Homes Co-Owner and Mortician David McComb.

Only two things are certain in life, death and taxes.

Most people opt for traditional funerals and cemetery plots.

But have you ever thought of helping others by donating your body?

"(The) misconception people have especially on organ donation is that the organs are sold at a profit, which those are not. They are donated, they go on a list," said Allen County Coroner Chief Investigator Michael Burris.

1. Donate your organs

2. Donate your tissue

According to the United Network For Organ Sharing, nearly 20 people die every day waiting on transplants.

Meanwhile, it's a myth, that just because you donate, you can't have an open casket funeral.

3, 4, 5 all involve donating your whole body for medical research.

3. Will your body to a university

4. Help doctors practice their skills

5. Leave your body to "the body farm"

"For instance, when somebody donates skin... They're able to make this material called AlloDerm and AlloDerm can be formed into all different kids of tissue. It actually adopts into any particular part of the body and takes on the cellular structure that's next to it," said McComb.

Advocates explain cadavers can also help police solve crimes.

"It would help then in the future for the training of law enforcement, in case they come across another body or shallow grave," said Burris.

Uses 6 through 10, all represent other ways your body can live on.

6. Become a crash test cadaver

7. Give your body to a broker

8. Send your body on tour

9. Become a skeleton

10. Be on display at a museum

"The answer for why people donate varies. Sometimes people will have someone in their family that's had a long term illness and wish to do everything they can for research and so forth. That's why they may chose to do it," shared McComb.

Meanwhile, Burris believes everyone should consider organ and tissue donation.

"People really should be giving that some really strong thought about giving those organs because you're gonna increase the quality of life of another person," said Burris.

Nearly 1,400 Hoosiers and more than 110,000 Americans are waiting on organ donations.

For more information, and the easiest way to become a donor, visit the related content section of this story.

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