Medicine & Science
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Non-profit organization launched from Texas City to educate and promote
benefits of donating body to science
Donor Memorial Service
3 pm April 27, 2013
Carnes Funeral Home
3100 Gulf Freeway
Texas City, Texas 77059
A non-profit organization created to develop a nationwide registry for persons who want to donate their bodies to science is being introduced to the Houston-Galveston community this week. “LifeDonation.org is dedicated to creating an awareness of whole body donations and educating the public about its benefits,” said Jay Carnes, founder.
The organization will be hosting its annual Donor Memorial Service at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Carnes Funeral Home, 3100 Gulf Freeway, Texas City. The public is invited to attend. The Donor Service is designed to allow families of those have donated to visit and learn from those who have used body donations in their profession. The idea is to help bridge the knowledge gap between the two groups and to help the families understand the decision their loved one made.
“We realize at LifeDonation that this is the final gift a person can give and it is a selfless act,” said Tim Baker, Board Chair, LifeDonation. “We also realize that it is an important decision.”
As the general American public ages and medical research advancements move quickly, the need for community education becomes more important, he said. But, Carnes said he noticed that a lack of resources to help the community understand this option was lacking.
“There are few resources that can provide a person the support he or she needs as the make this decision and so we want people to know they can call us and we’ll help them understand,” he said.
Understanding comes in many forms and the Donor Memorial Service is a cornerstone to what the organization will use to bring that need to the community.
“We realize that this is an option that most people are intrigued by but don’t understand,” he said. “The service allows families who may not understand what the decision was about to meet those who are actively learning and benefitting from it. Also, many times, this decision is made in private. Neither the person who is donating nor their families see or understand that there is an entire group of people who are doing this too. They need to understand they are not in a vacuum.”
LifeDonation is incorporated in Texas and is now undergoing the process to become a registered 501 ©3 non-profit organization. It is being operated from Texas City and a board comprised of funeral directors, nurses, medical professionals and other health care professionals meet regularly to discuss how to build the non-profit programs and operations. Critical to the development of the educational programs is a website that can teach people throughout the nation and world the benefits of the whole body donation and allow people to register online and connect with others who are involved in the whole body donation process, Baker said. The website will be unveiled to the public following the Donor Memorial Service on Saturday, he said.
“Through our registration database, we have a launching pad for donors to learn more about their options, for their families and loved ones to understand their decision and for the community to learn about the impact that the decision has made,” he said.
Ultimately, the decision to donate a person’s body to science is a gift to the community and Baker said LifeDonation wants to create an organized process to honor that, he said
“We want to build a community,” Baker said. “We want to do more than simply provide whole body donations to research and medical institutions. We want to create a place where a community is giving gifts that last beyond their own lifetimes and the rest of the world understands that."
Whole body donation is at the forefront of many scientific medical advancements. It is important to the ability of medical researchers and scientists to learn about the diseases and better techniques to help patients.
And today, the fast rate of advancements requires more whole body donations now and in the future. Donating one’s body to science provides vital information to discovery and advances medial research and education. It improves the quality of life for the community and also one’s own family. Whole body donations are critical in educational institutions. Anatomy is one of the most important courses in medical schools and other health professions. It is core early in the medical school curriculum and then becomes important again during residency. During professional practice, pursue continuing education can study advanced courses to learn new techniques and enhance skills.
Medical schools and clinics use whole body donation:
• for medical education, research and surgical training,
• development and testing of new surgical devices and techniques.
• master the complex anatomy of the human body
Researchers consider the whole body donation to be a critical tool in advancing our medical knowledge. A list of some diseases and condition that it has been valuable in helping the medical community to advance are:
• Heart disease
• Spinal injuries
• Joint replacements
• Cancer research
• Colon and liver treatments
• Breast cancer
• Reproductive advancements
• Advanced drug delivery
• Paramedic training
• Alzheimer’s research
• Cochlear implant developments
LIFE DONATION FAQ
What is LifeDonation?
LifeDonation is the first non-profit organization dedicated solely to the education and awareness of whole body donation to benefit society. The organization is preparing to launch a database for persons who want to donate their bodies to science, research and education. We offer educational, community and other types of support for persons, families and friends who want to learn the process and how it is used benefits our communities through education and medical research. To donate a person’s body is the last gift and at LifeDonation we are committed to honoring that gift through support to the donor, the donor’s loved ones and the institutions they are interested in.
How does someone donate his/her body to science or research through LifeDonation?
A unique feature of LifeDonation is our registration database. Similar to other databases that allow persons to register for other types of donations, such as living organs, LifeDonation’s database includes an education and registration packet that helps the donor understand how to communicate the decision and how to help the family understand the process.
What is the focus of LifeDonation?
As a non-profit organization, LifeDonation is dedicated to the donor and the donor’s loved ones. We are available for support, education and awareness. Our goal is to help donors make the best decision, communicate properly and calm misconceptions. We are a volunteer organization comprised of medical, funeral and educational professionals who seek
to bring a streamlined process to the area of whole body donation. We also promote the immense need and community benefits of the donation.
How does LifeDonation approach its work?
The mission of LifeDonation is based on a three prong approach that educates and supports the community, the donor and to the donor’s loved ones. LifeDonation will teach and advocate the general community about the benefits associated with whole body donations and create a no charge registration database for people who wish to donate their bodies to science upon death LifeDonation will create a structure so that the people who have chosen to donate will know how to communicate that to their families, their funeral directors and others. LifeDonation will dispel myths and other perceptions about the donation process.
Finally, LifeDonation will offer support and encouragement to those family members whose loved ones have died and donated their bodies.