Body Donation to Science: Best Alternative for avoiding Expensive Cremations

The cost of cremation in Florida is a bit more affordable than in other parts of the US. It falls between $1,000-$5,500 on average. The full-service cremation funeral cost is also well below the median average of $7,070 for a cremation funeral. One should also note that the cremation cost in Florida can vary drastically based on location, demographics, demands, etc. 

Understanding Cremation Price in Florida

Florida has the third-largest population in the US and has seen the highest growth rates for cremations in recent years. The cremation costs in Florida are also predicted to rise until the year 2030, which means there tend to be more funeral home options with a greater variety of end-of-life arrangements to choose from. This leads to a competitive funeral market, which allows providers to offer affordable service packages with a variety of options. 

Compared to burials, cremation is a more affordable end-of-life option in Florida. This is due to the reduced requirements for products and services needed for cremation arrangements. Funeral viewing before cremation eliminates the need for cemetery services, burial plots, casket purchases, etc. A direct cremation can further reduce the fees, which include cremating the deceased shortly after death, skipping services like a wake, viewing, embalming, etc. The direct burial cost may range from $1,200-5,500.

A No-Cost Alternative to Traditional Cremations

People who want to relieve their families from the emotional as well as financial burdens associated with cremations and funerals can opt to donate their bodies to science. Cremation and funeral costs are expensive and are rising year after year. Registering with a whole body donation program mostly involves no cost of transportation, cremation and final disposition of the remains. Most reputable and accredited organizations treat the donor and their loved ones with utmost respect and dignity while also ensuring that the donated bodies and their wishes are honored. 

Three types of organizations accept body donations: science, medical schools, for-profit companies, and medical research firms. Donating your body generally happens through body donation programs. Most medical schools do not need all of the anatomical donations available and will often not accept a donor body. Most body donation programs require the donor to pre-register and fill out the necessary forms well in advance. The donor may also cancel the registration if they later change their mind. 

What is the Basic Body Donation Process?

You need to register in advance. Upon your death, your family can contact the body donation program you registered with. If your body meets the necessary criteria, they will accept the body and handle all the expenses of picking it up. The organization may use the donated body for up to two years and then cremate it at their expense and return the cremains to the next of kin.

Purpose of Body Donations

The main benefit of body donations is that they remove the financial burden of cremation and funeral of the family while also giving training to aspiring doctors. Some programs may also accept body donations to dissect it and send parts to other organizations that need it. Some companies use the bodies as crash test dummies for ballistic tests. Hence, it is suggested that you read the disclosures carefully about what the organizations are allowed to do with your body. So make sure you do your research to understand how the body will be used and if you are comfortable with it. 

The body donation programs can give you a free cremation. Though cremation is cheaper than burials, it still requires you to spend quite a few thousand dollars. A basic cremation package without an urn is about $2,500. Body donations will cost you much less than this. However, there may be some fees associated with body donations. Although there are no embalming, casket, or funeral expenses in the traditional ways, there may be charges to move the body from the place of death to the body donation program center, to file the death certificate, assist the family with scheduling memorial services, and notify social security.  

Know that it is not mandatory to donate your body to an institution in the state you reside. Also, remember that since the supply far exceeds the demand, most people wanting to donate their bodies are not able to do so.  You can only decide to donate to the body in advance. Your family cannot donate your body to a donation program.  There might be charges to file the death certificate, move the body from the place of death to the medical school, to notify Social Security and to assist the family with scheduling any memorial services.

The Bottom Line

The fees for body donation depend on where the facility is located and the type of assistance the family will need in coordinating. However, the costs will be much less than other traditional end-of-life options like burials and cremations, and hence, the perfect option for those looking for an affordable alternative to expensive conventional burials and cremations.

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