Who has control when you’re dead?

Even if someone writes down what they want to happen to their body once they die, it does not mean that it will be carried out. Once that person passes, it is up to the people close to them to decide what to do with the body. They could bury it, burn it, give it to science, or even show it on television. According to Sara Perry, in her post titled The travels of a head, a scientist by the name of William Matthew Flinders Petrie gave consent to have his skull given to the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS) for students to study. However, this was never carried out and a television show asked them to use it. It got denied because it only wanted to attract more viewers to their show.

When most people die, they want to be respected and mourned for. Should each case be determined individually? If the person gives consent to giving their body to science, then does that make it so television shows are allowed access to it too? Or should nobody ever get access to dead bodies, consent or not? It is believed by some that bodies should be used to benefit society. However, it depends on who is asked for how to society can be benefited. It also depends on culture. Some cultures, mostly Western, want to use science to benefit society. Others want the dead to make the gods happy with them, so that they help the society in the future. Once people are dead, they have no control over what happens with their body, it depends on the culture of where they lived.

Advertisements