Two of my students have family members in medicine who've done human gross anatomy classes, and they talked about what their family members have said; one says his sibling plans to donate her body to science, while the other says her sibling decided not to donate her body to science because of her class. Interesting stuff.
I don't have any religious convictions that would stop me from donating my body. When I read
I understand the basic theology, but I don't have an emotive response to the religious imperitive. And then I start thinking about all the "what if" cases: what if your arm were cut off in youth? Do you end up armless in heaven/hell? If you die a horrible death, would you be resurrected in that kind of pain?
At the round earth's imagined corners, blow
Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise
From death, you numberless infinities
of souls, and to your scattered bodies go...
(Donne, "Holy Sonnet #4")
Enough of that. The point is that I don't have a religious need to try to keep my body whole, and I don't think there's a spiritual afterlife.
I've never done human dissection, but I've dissected other critters, from bugs to mammals of various sorts, and it didn't gross me out. On one level, I'm not really grossed out at the thought of someone cutting me to pieces once I'm dead (I'm totally against being drawn and quartered while alive, though, just to be clear.)
But I'm stopped cold by the thought of people making nasty comments about my dead body. Why is that? I mean, it's not like I'd be there to hear and get hurt feelings, right?
People in my classes did name their dissection critters names (there was a "FatCat" in my vertebrate morphology cat dissection lab, I recall). We weren't a nice bunch, I guess, or sensitive.
And the thought of being in a post-mortem car accident: I somehow can't get beyond the idea of pain in an accident, while that doesn't really get me when I think of dissection. I don't know quite why that is.
On the other hand, what Roach has to say about buried and cremated bodies doesn't make those sound appealing, either. I can't bear the thought of being buried in the cold winter ground of the upper midwest. I'd sort of figured on being cremated and tossed into the ocean, but I've read somewhere that human ashes aren't really good for the ocean. So I don't know.
It's time to go read something more fun. The Changeling's up for my drama class, so that should be a pleasant change! (I adore this play, by the way, just adore it, but I've never taught it before! I'm so excited!)
Meanwhile, what do you think: donation or no?
ps. Yes, I have an organ donor sticker, but that seems totally different to me, for some odd reason.