Die for FREE! Local man discovers the Secret to ZERO End-of-Life Expenses!

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So, I decided to be an adult today and talk with my friendly, neighborhood undertaker about what I want to happen when I die: Donate any viable organs as needed, donate the remaining corpse to research or medical school, and then cremation; no service. We get to the end of the conversation, and I ask how much. She said it's (currently) free. (The med school picks up the tab for everything, even transportation.) What also surprised me is that she said that she's only had about five people in the last twenty years who've made the same decision; I would've guessed it'd be a lot more. What is it about this approach that weirds out so many people, when it can help a lot of med students serve the living and it (apparently) saves thousands of dollars?
  • Profile picture of the author Cali16
    Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

    What is it about this approach that weirds out so many people, when it can help a lot of med students serve the living and it (apparently) saves thousands of dollars?
    Depends on the person (or their family), but usually:

    1) religious reasons / beliefs
    2) tradition - funerals are both traditional and a formality that helps provide closure (or at least the beginning of closure)
    3) death is very emotional for surviving loved ones. A lot of people can't bear the thought of their deceased love one's body being cut up / studied / etc.
    4) a lot of people never even think about it as an option

    I have myself listed as an organ donor on my driver's license, but hadn't really thought about donating my corpse to medical research. Definitely something worth considering - I already know I want to be cremated, so might as well make use of my remains first.
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    • Profile picture of the author positivenegative
      There are other options for the body (and soul) you know.


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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        My grandfather donated himself to science, but I think I recall hearing that someone did have to pay something to pick up the ashes left over after a year or something.

        Yeah, people get weirded out maybe thinking it's gonna hurt? lol

        Maybe they think they are going to be like a mummy in Egypt and someone will put them in a museum?

        I've always found this to be interesting.

        If my kidneys were worth salvaging in the end, wonder if the recipient would suddenly be craving some Stoli.

        I've got donor on my DL.

        When I was born, it was to an audience. There was a class of med students all watching. May as well go out the same way. Nice to know I entertained someone.
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        • I guess the Egypt deal kinda nails it.

          Back in the day when they had weirdo animal gods an' no one ever walked straight forward or backward, they preserved bodies so the deceased could hang out with alla their stuff in the afterlife.

          Perhaps there is sumthin' of that goin' on, even among non-believers in anythin' — that somehow if organs are removed, people gonna be runnin' round the spirit world minus hearts, brains, livers an' stuff.

          Prolly also, last thing people want at a time of loss is any thought their loved ones are bein' mutilated.

          But it is strange because there are clear benefits to doin' this, an' it is cool you are thinkin' about it now.

          I do not suppose there is much point in me offerin' up my liver or kidneys, cos right now they are prolly gonna be my ultimate nemesis, but I figure my lungs an' heart gonna be ok, along with sections of my gut unblemished by the passage of lettuce.

          Who knows, by the time I leave the buildin', we could be swappin' out brains.

          It is cool to think that some future kid might figure out sumthin' cool to do with mine.
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  • Profile picture of the author mkii
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    That's not really free, you're just dead and don't need that stuff anymore.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cali16
      Originally Posted by mkii View Post

      That's not really free, you're just dead and don't need that stuff anymore.
      You're missing the point.

      Funeral and burial costs aren't free, easily totaling mid 4 figures to low 5 figures. Somebody has to pay for that.
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      • Profile picture of the author mkii
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        Originally Posted by Cali16 View Post

        You're missing the point.

        Funeral and burial costs aren't free, easily totaling mid 4 figures to low 5 figures. Somebody has to pay for that.
        And you think your organs aren't worth more then that /eyeroll.
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        • Profile picture of the author Cali16
          Originally Posted by mkii View Post

          And you think your organs aren't worth more then that /eyeroll.
          Well, here in the U.S. (and probably most countries), organs can't legally be sold - they can only be donated. So, no, the deceased person's organs can't be used to pay for funeral / burial / cremation expenses, if that's what you're suggesting.

          Also, your organs are only worth something (at least in terms of donating them to another living person) if 1) they're healthy and 2) they're harvested from the body while they're still viable. For the latter, there has to be a qualified medical person or team on hand to harvest them, and that usually only occurs in a medical facility. I don't know the statistics, but obviously many, if not most, deaths don't occur in a medical facility.

          There's also all the legal issues that have to be considered. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm sure appropriate legal documents have to be signed (or already in place). I imagine most countries have very specific and probably very strict laws regarding organ donation, as well as the donation of a person's body or specific body parts for medical research.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    How do I sign up?



    Can they throw me in the ocean when they're done too?

    (Not joking. I love to swim with the fishes).
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    • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
      Originally Posted by Sarevok View Post

      How do I sign up?
      Talk with your local funeral director, or with the medical school directly.

      Originally Posted by Sarevok View Post

      Can they throw me in the ocean when they're done too?
      Legally, the answer is likely no, but you could always make informal arrangements with a trusted friend or family member.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    ANOTHER thing. You AREN'T saving thousands! It apparently only costs hundreds to be cremated.

    You have to realize that the traditional type funeral is REQUIRED unless the body is somehow provided for (like by a medical establishment), or cremated. And a traditional type funeral is where you start getting into costs that are exceeding $1000 just to START. Just a basic casket and plot can apparently cost several thousand. For a cremation, they don't even have to give you an urn, and may not even have to give you a permanent box. The heat is SO high that apparently everyone is convinced that the ashes are 100% biologically inert, so all the normal precautions aren't required.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Hey everyone, meet my dad (aka "dad in a box"). Wave at your monitor and say Hi Mr. Carpenter! He was a very jolly social guy.



      So he got the cremation thing done, and he's been dressed up in this fancy cylinder box and he's just waiting for mom before we scatter them somewhere. He's always had to wait for mom for something, so we thought it appropriate and that he probably wouldn't mind waiting one last time for her. Story of his life and all...

      Dad's original box that had been paid for was a simple plain white cardboard box. This box was picked out by one of the family members so we could have him at his service after - but we wound up not bringing him there. It was something like $60 or $80 more for his upgraded digs.

      I can actually get the same quality boxes at the dollar store. Different decoration on them, but should someone feel the need to keep my ashes around for some reason, I want to encourage them to supply a nice dollar store box to the cremation place.

      My parents paid in advance - so everything is all set for mom now too, but I want to say even this was a few thousand to arrange for the package deal they got.

      There is a service where you can send ashes in and have them made into diamonds. My sister and I thought about wearing dad on our finger. And we could send just some of the ashes in and there would still be plenty left over. Talk about the family jewels.

      Some ashes were requested to just be added to some at a cemetery plot. Turns out you can't just show up at the cemetery and start spreading ashes all over the place. We're going to have to pull a Shawshank Redemption (look at 1:26).


      Plans after are still in the air, but considering a fishing excursion with some ash chum.

      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      ANOTHER thing. You AREN'T saving thousands! It apparently only costs hundreds to be cremated.
      Maybe just hundreds. But there are still other costs. Death certificates that need to be made into multiples and stuff for submission to collecting other things.

      Dying is not free. But I whole heartedly agree, cremation is definitely the most bang for your buck.
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

        Maybe just hundreds. But there are still other costs. Death certificates that need to be made into multiples and stuff for submission to collecting other things.

        Dying is not free. But I whole heartedly agree, cremation is definitely the most bang for your buck.
        I paid all the costs, for my mother, including burial in a special plot(The family has a special plot), and only paid about $270. And YEAH, people tried to take what she had, but she was like $9000 in debt, so that didn't amount to anything.

        Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

    So, I decided to be an adult today and talk with my friendly, neighborhood undertaker about what I want to happen when I die: Donate any viable organs as needed, donate the remaining corpse to research or medical school, and then cremation; no service. We get to the end of the conversation, and I ask how much. She said it's (currently) free. (The med school picks up the tab for everything, even transportation.) What also surprised me is that she said that she's only had about five people in the last twenty years who've made the same decision; I would've guessed it'd be a lot more. What is it about this approach that weirds out so many people, when it can help a lot of med students serve the living and it (apparently) saves thousands of dollars?

    Maybe people aren't interested in being quartered like a deer.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Maybe people aren't interested in being quartered like a deer.
      In all fairness, deer likely aren't interested in this, either.
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
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        Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

        In all fairness, deer likely aren't interested in this, either.

        They like chasing headlights.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Maybe people aren't interested in being quartered like a deer.
      Hopefully I'm gone when I'm gone.

      What am I gonna do with this lump of decaying flesh? I obviously won't be carrying it around with me. I have no need for it.

      Think too about people who are lost at sea. They likely just become part of the food chain.

      I understand the traditions of open caskets - but I think this is a very out dated tradition. Just as easy to take a nice photo of someone and display that at a nice service.

      Why take up good real estate for it's residents that can't even enjoy it?

      It borders on a topic which is forbidden to discuss here.

      But hey, if someone couldn't be bothered with visiting me while I'm still here, then I don't want them bothering to do that when I'm gone. I'm planning to be much further away.

      In a strange way it all interlinks with IM too.

      We get digital products that we can't actually hold in our hands - unless we print them up or something.

      When you first sell something online (like an affiliate product) it can seem weird that you can turn that into money - even though you never held something in your hand or actually had the product.

      It all comes out of your head. The information and what you do with it. It's all just kinda floating around out in the universe.

      People get too attached to the physical. It's ok while you're able to actually interact with it, but there is no way to use your body to interact with things once you go elsewhere. It simply becomes as useful as an old couch you put on the curb.

      If someone can get another year or so out of the old couch - great! I've got no use for it.

      (my couch is definitely needing some refurb already these days. lol)

      My mom saved my baby teeth that came out and were left for the tooth fairy. Funny to come across those now but what am I gonna do with those? Certainly can't stick them back in my mouth. I'll tell you what I'm going to do. Take a nice photo and toss em. Unless someone tells me they could use them for an art project or something.
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
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        Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

        Hopefully I'm gone when I'm gone.

        It's not about being gone, it's about not wanting to be dissected.

        In 2013 only 14,257 people donated organs according to DMV data. That's an average of 285 people per year for each US state. That same year (2013) shows 2,596,993 total deaths in the US according to CDC data (roughly 52,000 deaths per US state on average).

        So, obviously most people aren't interested in being lab rats.

        They should focus on creating 3D printed organs instead of scavenging like cavemen.






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        • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          It's not about being gone, it's about not wanting to be dissected.


          So, obviously most people aren't interested in being lab rats.

          They should focus on creating 3D printed organs instead of scavenging like cavemen.
          I'm all for growing new organs - if only for the reason to get something most compatible for those who need them.

          One size fits all doesn't work for organ donation. Not to mention blood types, etc.

          I find it funny about the dissected thing. People act like they actually have to see or feel it happening to them. They won't be around for it. Or shouldn't be.

          That's why I'm saying people get so absorbed with the physical, and think they have control over it after they are gone.

          Not saying some people don't get their wishes to have done what ever it was they wanted done with their bodies. But look again at that video posted above about what they do to you at the funeral home before you go in a casket. What's the difference? People pumping chemicals into you, sewing your jaw shut. If you've seen enough CSI and how people get all kinds of dissected then you realize a lot of people are getting all kinds of cut open after they die.

          I want to be cremated. They are going to roast me up into nothing. A pile of ashes in the pit. May as well grab a part or two while the gettin's good. Should I be freaked out over my body going into a fire? Or more freaked out about it going 6 feet under into the ground and slowly disintegrating over time.

          Can't really be too freaked out over either cause I won't be around to really know what winds up happening.

          Now if a piece of me can live a bit longer and help someone else to live a bit longer, then that's kinda cool. If a practicing doctor can find something to learn from me that helps them save even one life of someone in the future, that is cool. Could be their practice run on my corpse that saves one of your family members.

          The technology is getting closer, but a lot of that is with the help of learning from those bodies they could take apart.
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          • Profile picture of the author discrat
            I think those face translpants are cool. Wouldn't mind seeing Claude again on someone else's body
            Claude if you are listening out there maybe something to consider.

            I must say though there are a few people in this World I surely wouldn't want to see their face again ( on someone else) after they are deceased lol


            It's all relative . In 50 to 60 or 80 years EVERYONE here now we will be all be gone. No exceptions.

            A lot of people like to throw humor into it all. That's cool if that is your thing. Usually it's a way to just soften the blow and decrease the anxiety of death.

            ME ? I see it no different from the birth of my kids , marriage etc..etc.. it's a beautiful thing and should not be something to have anxiety over. Its coming FULL Circle. And is part of Life
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            • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
              Originally Posted by discrat View Post

              I think those face translpants are cool. )
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            • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
              Originally Posted by discrat View Post

              I think those face translpants are cool. Wouldn't mind seeing Claude again on someone else's body
              Claude if you are listening out there maybe something to consider.

              I must say though there are a few people in this World I surely wouldn't want to see their face again ( on someone else) after they are deceased lol


              It's all relative . In 50 to 60 or 80 years EVERYONE here now we will be all be gone. No exceptions.

              A lot of people like to throw humor into it all. That's cool if that is your thing. Usually it's a way to just soften the blow and decrease the anxiety of death.

              ME ? I see it no different from the birth of my kids , marriage etc..etc.. it's a beautiful thing and should not be something to have anxiety over. Its coming FULL Circle. And is part of Life
              Claude was often on someone else's body. How he escaped being arrested is one of life's mysteries.
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        • Profile picture of the author perryny
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          It's not about being gone, it's about not wanting to be dissected.

          In 2013 only 14,257 people donated organs according to DMV data. That's an average of 285 people per year for each US state. That same year (2013) shows 2,596,993 total deaths in the US according to CDC data (roughly 52,000 deaths per US state on average).

          So, obviously most people aren't interested in being lab rats.
          I bet a good marketing campaign could improve these numbers dramatically.
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          • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
            Originally Posted by discrat View Post



            It's all relative . In 50 to 60 or 80 years EVERYONE here now we will be all be gone. No exceptions.
            People live to over 100. If I am now 18 and on this forum, that would put me at only 98 on the 80 years from now.

            There may be exceptions.

            Unless this forum is no longer - then you are right.

            wonder how much a war room membership would cost 80 years from now.
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            • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
              Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

              Unless this forum is no longer - then you are right.

              wonder how much a war room membership would cost 80 years from now.
              At the rate this place is going, do you seriously expect it to be around in ten years, much less 50?
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          • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
            Originally Posted by yukon View Post

            In 2013 only 14,257 people donated organs according to DMV data. That's an average of 285 people per year for each US state. That same year (2013) shows 2,596,993 total deaths in the US according to CDC data (roughly 52,000 deaths per US state on average).
            Thank you for running the numbers. If that's what they are for organ donation, my funeral director's estimates for whole body donation sound about right.

            Sad.

            Originally Posted by perryny View Post

            I bet a good marketing campaign could improve these numbers dramatically.
            Hrm. You may very well be onto something. #RecycleMe
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Turn your body into a tree...


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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      Turn your body into a tree...

      Of course, later when the tree is old it can be cut down and made into some nice furniture for your relatives.

      "Careful on that couch. Don't spill that red wine on Mom!"

      "Mom invites you to have a sit down with her"

      Turn cousin bob into a coffee table.

      Me? You can make me into a nice bar for the family room - and hopefully lots will be spilled all over me.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kurt
        Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

        Of course, later when the tree is old it can be cut down and made into some nice furniture for your relatives.

        "Careful on that couch. Don't spill that red wine on Mom!"

        "Mom invites you to have a sit down with her"

        Turn cousin bob into a coffee table.

        Me? You can make me into a nice bar for the family room - and hopefully lots will be spilled all over me.
        For those of us that live in Colorado and longevity isn't an issue, how about a pot plant?
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      • Profile picture of the author discrat
        Sorry, but I just I don't have time to die. Maybe next week. Yep, I'll try to fit it in my schedule then
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        • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
          Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

          For those of us that live in Colorado and longevity isn't an issue, how about a pot plant?
          Ahh, someone be smoking me up. Ya mon.

          Ash and bong water. Just be sure to put those back into the plant again until I'm completely vaped into the atmosphere.

          In all honesty, I'd have to ponder this ending a bit longer.

          Hmm.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zodiax
    You think I can negotiate a passive income plan for my organs after I die?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

      Ahh, someone be smoking me up. Ya mon.

      Ash and bong water. Just be sure to put those back into the plant again until I'm completely vaped into the atmosphere.

      In all honesty, I'd have to ponder this ending a bit longer.

      Hmm.
      OK, lol, had a minute to think about this.

      I have to reverse the situation.

      If I was smoking someone else up I'd want to know who it was I was smoking exactly.

      I might get kinda wigged out just thinking about it after a few puffs. Are they a positive energy to be smoking?

      And who is going to want to smoke me? I'd want to decide who gets to smoke me.

      Originally Posted by Zodiax View Post

      You think I can negotiate a passive income plan for my organs after I die?
      Problem with this is you don't know how you are going to die or from what - and in the end your organs might be of no use to anyone.

      Now, if you follow what I just thought about, you might be able to get away with making some kind of deal on that - provided you could sell someone on the idea that you will make the most enjoyable smoke anyone has ever encountered.

      You get people to invest in wanting to smoke the "Zodiax" - because it will be a limited supply.

      It's all about pushing the supply and demand of the final product as to how much money you could rack up.
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      • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
        Ummm, David, everybody gets to die for free. Just like love, it doesn't cost a thing.

        It's what happens after you die that gets expensive. But that isn't really for you, it's for those who love you that are still among the living, unless you pre-pay for everything. And if you do that, then there is a charge. Oh and somebody else pays if you're done in by a hit man, but it doesn't cost you anything.

        Well, except your life.

        Never mind, dying has a high cost, lol!


        Terra
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        • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
          Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

          It's what happens after you die that gets expensive. But that isn't really for you, it's for those who love you that are still among the living, unless you pre-pay for everything.
          That's what I was talking about. I personally wasn't going to stick my relatives with the costs, or decisions.

          Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

          And if you do that, then there is a charge.
          Actually, I was (reasonably) expecting a discount for pre-payment, not a premium. But I was even happier with "zero".

          In fact, I'm pretty sure that the funeral industry would prefer that we all postpone and ultimately ignore this decision; it's far easier to prey (and profit) on those who are grieving:

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        • Profile picture of the author Zodiax
          Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

          Ummm, David, everybody gets to die for free. Just like love, it doesn't cost a thing.

          It's what happens after you die that gets expensive. But that isn't really for you, it's for those who love you that are still among the living, unless you pre-pay for everything. And if you do that, then there is a charge. Oh and somebody else pays if you're done in by a hit man, but it doesn't cost you anything.

          Well, except your life.

          Never mind, dying has a high cost, lol!


          Terra
          Your smile is free.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
    Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

    What is it about this approach that weirds out so many people, when it can help a lot of med students serve the living and it (apparently) saves thousands of dollars?
    Mostly because I don't want my carcass ending up in some weird Weekend at Bernie's high jinks. That's fine with family at the funeral, but not with a couple of stoned medical students.
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