So, I finally read "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers". This book was chosen by my book club a year or two ago, but I didn't read it because I was unable to attend that particular meeting. I am glad I finally read it, as it was fascinating. If you are not the squeamish type, I recommend reading it. On the whole, I generally dislike non-fiction books because they remind me too much of school - either a text book or perhaps someone's dissertation. This book had a little bit of that, especially when the author was talking about the history of transplants, but most often I just found it to be interesting.
I've always been convinced that organ donation was my post-death plan. However, a little research shows that if I donate organs I cannot become a cadaver at a medical school or be a subject of a whole body research study. In the here and now, the majority of my charitable time and money is spent on animal welfare. In the hereafter I would like my efforts to be expended (as much as a dead body can expend an effort) on helping humankind. This book covered a multitude of options - being a research subject at a body farm studying human decomposition, being a part of injury research such as car safety crash studies, whole body donation as a medical cadaver, as well as my original plan of organ donation.
How do you decide which is the most beneficial option? Organ donation saves one or two lives immediately. Medical cadavers help make doctors competent enough to save multiple lives in the future, research studies make those doctors or automobile makers or whoever more knowledgeable about keeping people safe and healthy probably even further down the line (after all the reports are written, the experiment finally published, etc). What a quandary... all are a much better alternative to rotting in an overpriced casket in an overpriced plot of land. More research is definitely required here.
What about you - what do you want to be AFTER you grow up?