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Donating a body to an institution allows the body to be used for medical research or medical education. It can be simple to do so and will have a lasting, positive effect.
You can make the body donation directly to the institution of your choice. There are also third party businesses that will handle the donation for you. If you choose to donate directly there may be expenses that you will have to pay such as transportation. If you go through a third party they will pay for any expenses incurred. You should know that they will recoup the expenses and a profit by charging the receiving institution.
Whether you choose to donate the body directly or through a third party, there will be paperwork to be filled out. It will be provided to you when you contact them. There will also be a screening process as some bodies will not be accepted due to certain diseases or the state of decomposition.
Once you are in contact with the institution or third party they will walk you through the steps. It varies from place to place. In most cases, the remains will be cremated and returned to the family after use.