Inspired by Hitchens, An Atheist Makes Plans to Donate His Body to Science

I had posted earlier that Christopher Hitchensbody would be donated to science, per his wishes.

Hearing that inspired Edward Tarte to take action. He just signed the paperwork to donate his body to the Baylor College of Medicine.

Thanks for being a great role model for the rest of us, Edward! (And please stay healthy so the donation doesn’t happen for a while.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Minus

    I  have left similar instructions, I think it’s a great idea.  But I am reminded of Groucho Marx’s remark that he wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would admit him as a member.  I mean, my body ain’t exactly a good example.

  • Annie

    Another excellent video by Edward Tarte!  I always enjoy his insight and calm delivery.

    A few months ago, my parents sent documentation of their wishes (and instructions) for donating their bodies to science after their deaths.  My mom likes to joke that we can then say, when her cremains are returned to us, that she went to medical school. 

    It is so important to let your posthumous wishes be known, as it frees your heirs from having to guess what you would have wanted. 

  • Justin Miyundees

    I have been a pledged organ donor since I can remember.  I’m coming to understand that if you’re an organ donor, you can’t be a whole body donor.  Anyone have insights on that?

    I guess this makes sense, but it seems a waste.  There should be some use for all this meat – feed it to the piranha at the local aquarium and sell tickets for FFRF!  How cool would that be?  Or maybe some Soylent Green anyone?

    • Annie

      I’m a pledged organ donor as well and have wondered the same thing.  I would think after any viable organs were harvested, the rest of my corpse could be used in some way.  I love the aquarium fundraiser idea!  I have an affinity for crocodile conservation… perhaps I could nourish a Siamese crocodile when I’m gone?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=649813048 Nicoline Smits

      It varies by state. You could call your state’s anatomy board. I’m sure they can tell you what is or isn’t possible.

  • Gunstargreen

    I already donated my colon to science since I had it removed due to Ulcerative Colitis. I didn’t think this was a very big deal since I’m not going to be using the thing anymore but considering how hard they were trying to sell me on letting them have it even after I already said yes makes me wonder how many people say no in my situation and why?

  • Gunstargreen

    I already donated my colon to science since I had it removed due to Ulcerative Colitis. I didn’t think this was a very big deal since I’m not going to be using the thing anymore but considering how hard they were trying to sell me on letting them have it even after I already said yes makes me wonder how many people say no in my situation and why?

  • Mihangel apYrs

    there was a marvellous documentary late last year on UK’s Channel 4 about a man who left his body to a scientist to practice mummification.

    It was rather sad the way his widow tried to face up to it all – she was obviously upset (an understatement!) – but it was scientifically valid, and things were learned about the techniques used back then

  • Momma J

    I can’t help but see a little bit of irony here. An atheist donating their body to the school of medicine at a Baptist University in the name of science ?!?!

    Despite the irony, a very respectable thing to do :)

  • Anonymous

    veryy wctube

  • http://www.facebook.com/Tracy.Bradley1 Tracy Bradley

    I was just reading somewhere (can’t remember where) that many bodies donated to science aren’t all that useful, and that also stating you’d donate your corpse to a body farm is a good idea as well. Creepy, but a good idea.

    Personally, I wanna be in Body Worlds and go on tour after I die.


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