Can I donate my living body to research?

22 April 2014

Share

Question

Can I donate my living body to research?

Answer

Hannah - So, we know that once dead, you can donate your brain and body to science, but what about getting involved in research whilst your still alive? For the answer, we turn to Kate McAllister, a doctoral researcher at Cambridge University...

Kate - So, there are loads of ways in which you can donate your living body to science.

In the most, kind of, straightforward way, you can donate your time to take part in research studies. So, that can be as simple as filling out a questionnaire, helping take part in psychological studies. People are always looking for help with that. The easiest way to go about that is to contact your local university psychology department, and the good thing about that is that most volunteers are also paid for their time for that.

If you wanted to be more literal and, "Can I donate my body to science?" you can definitely donate tissue to some research studies. So, part of the project that I'm doing just now, I'm interested in cellular energy - how our bodies make energy - and how that can later link to dementia, the onset of dementia. So, the best way to look at cell energy is to look at tissue that really is highly dependent on energy. So, what we look at is muscle. So basically, we set this up with the ethics committee and we make sure we go through all the right procedures and then we get people to come up to the hospital and to donate a tiny, tiny bit of their muscle in a sort of outpatient procedure that takes half an hour. 

Another way that you may be able to donate your tissue to research is if you're for example in hospital having a diagnostic procedure done, the surgeon may ask beforehand if you wanted to consent to, whilst they're in there, grabbing another little bit of tissue and then that can be sent to a tissue bank and later used for research. So, for example, if you were to have surgery for cancer on a tumour, the surgeon may ask to take an extra piece, or to use a piece of that, in research and that would all be anonymised.

Hannah - Thanks, Kate. So yes, you can donate your living body to research by participating in a study, getting your brain scanned whilst solving a puzzle for example or simply sitting next to a computer and taking part in a survey. Quite often, you'll be paid for your time and you can walk home with a momento, so a snapshot of your brain perhaps.

You can even volunteer to take part in a clinical trial, acting as a guinea pig to help test out new pharmacological drugs. Again, you'll be paid for this or you can donate tissue as part of an existing surgical procedure that you're already having or as a special one-off. You can find out more about donating both your living and dead bodies to research by looking at your local university's science and psychology websites for details or by visiting the website hta.gov.uk.

Comments

ive lived full life and it doesn't seem right this suffering so plz help me,i need sleep and never wake I don't think that's to much to ask

I want donet may body after death

Can I donate?

You're not saying no, and you're not saying yes.
I want to be on someone's table for science!

I'm 56 years old I have a peacemaker/defibrillator, serious crone's disease, heart muscle at 10 percent, I still work. All the kids are taken care of. Instead of letting my vital organs get worse this old man would rather save 5 life's and put 1 on the observation VB table. That's science Right!

I want to donate my body for bionic research, like bio human stuff. Im willing to lose limbs for bionoc inplants in there place. How would i go about that.

i want donate my all alive body to research

Add a comment