30 June 2015

Gifts that keep on giving, or not.

Pretty sure I mentioned it before, but it won't hurt to do so again...

My brain is going to Harvard.  I figure, some part of me should go, and I doubt I'll do so in this lifetime.  So, I've made arrangements for my brain to go to Harvard after I die.

Your brain can go too!  Why?  Well, Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center {Brain Bank} collects and studies the neurobiological differences between "normal" {no neurological, no neuropsychiatric disorders}, individuals with neurological &/or neuropsychiatric disorders, and familial individuals' brains too.   It's the largest repository of brains and brain tissue, used for study for determining what sort of differences there might be between various types of brains, with hopes that the more that we learn about the brain, the more we can help treat various disorders and diseases.

So say you're all enthusiastically supportive and ya wanna do this too.  Here are a few things you might want to know that may help to facilitate the collection process.  First off, be sure this is what you want.  Read up on the material and fill out the forms, send them in, and be sure that you've discussed your wishes with those around you.

Your body and brain becomes the property of your estate upon death.  This usually means that the next of kin becomes the owner of the body, although there are certain state and federal laws you {they} must abide by.  So regardless of YOUR wishes, if your next of kin {or whomever is the executor of your estate} is not hip to them, they might not be carried out.  So be sure to talk with your peeps, dude.

It's a good idea to have all the pertinent info, especially contact numbers, handy.  I've a list that I, my husband, and a few others keep in their wallets.  It has that contact number on it, along with the steps to be taken, along with a list of my current medications.  It's all typed out, clearly.

It's hard enough to deal with a loved one's dying and death, so make it easier on everyone involved by having all the steps right there, within reach to refer to, printed out.  Donation of organs, tissues, bodies, and BRAINS is a time~sensitive issue and must occur within hours of death, in most cases.  In some cases, minutes.  Usually doctors, coroners, and organizations are involved, so take care of as much of what you can, beforehand.

Also, be sure that your estate is NOT responsible for the cost, unless that is a non~issue.  For me, I'd like my body to go to the University of Tennessee's "Body Farm" in Knoxville~~BUT, that's not going to happen, because they have a policy that states that your estate incurs the cost of transportation of your body to their location {unless you died within a hundred miles of their facility}.  There are all sorts of laws regarding interstate body transfer, and it's expensive.  So I'd rather not fuss with that.

Instead, I do have the University Hospital, in Jackson, Mississippi listed as the recipient of my body sans brain.  They prefer whole body donation, however, they can use partials for educational, medical, research purposes.  If my brain isn't harvested by Harvard, then whole body donation is an option for cadaver classes {Gross Anatomy}.

And there are other options as well, such as organ and tissue donation, as well as bone donation.  Or perhaps no donation would be acceptable, depending on circumstances of death.  In which case, cremation is my wish.

Lots to think on, so make plans now, for then.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! I know you (& I) are smart for taking care of all our post-life issues for ourselves. No one likes to think about dying, but everyone does. Its nice to know that our wishes are spelled out for those we leave behind. I turned 60 this year and I hope the next 60 will be even better! You gonna be with this really old man for a while!


Thanks for taking the time and effort to let your thoughts be known!