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Willing donors to give up human remains for research purposes

To save money on funeral expenses, some families give their loved ones' bodies to groups promising to use them for science. The market is not well-regulated.

There is a large demand for human bodies. Medical researchers and students need them for a wide variety of purposes.

Donors

Where there is demand for a service, someone will step in and provide it.

People can now give the remains of the dead to companies that will cremate a small portion of them to give to the families and sell the rest to researchers. This market is poorly regulated, as Reuters reports in "In the market for human bodies, almost anyone can sell the dead."

Investigators have found many troubling problems with some of these companies.

The article details what was found at one company. Investigators discovered that the company was thawing a dead body outside using a garden hose. They also found cardboard boxes that had once held human remains stacked in a dumpster.

The ideal solution is to plan for your funeral and how to pay for it, at the same time that you create an estate plan.

Doing this takes the burden off of your family.

If that is not done, families should be certain that any donation of remains is made to a reputable company that will handle their loved ones with respect.

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