long live science, Lepht not so much

when i die, my body's never going to get buried. i'm proud of this.

i realise how fucked-up that sounds; i ain't gone nuts, though, and i'm not doing the whole viking pyre thing (as cool as that would undoubtedly be.) i don't go in for the valhalla scenario, and i ain't so sure i've exactly distinguished myself enough in combat to get there... what i do go in for is science, and that's what my body's gonna be for once i'm dead. it's gonna be preserved in formaldehyde and dissected by professors, then put back together and prosected time after time by medical students - people who can actually get some benefit from it - and eventually, bits of it will be plastized and put in the University's anatomical museum, and the bones will be wired back together, both for use by more students, for decades. this is a good thing.

so why does it get such a visceral reaction from non-medical students? i've been trying to get other people to do the same thing - either become organ donors or anatomical ones - and so far, all i get is That's fucking disgusting, Lepht or Oh, you'll change your mind about that soon enough, once you've thought about it. the registrar at the Anatomy Department asked my proxy about three times if i was "sure i wanted to do this": i even got "You know they'll cut you up with saws and scalpels, right? You know you're not going to be left in one piece?" from one particularly moronic onlooker. i have a vague idea of what's going through their heads as regards that process, but it's totally fucking illogical - those reactions make no sense.

for a start, yeah, i do know what's gonna happen to the corpse. i'm not going to be there: ergo, it doesn't phase me. i'm the collective function of a brain's multiple systems, and once the brain ceases to function, i will cease to be. my knowledge will have been passed on to the larger matrix of what humans know, my job will be over, and hopefully, i'll have taught as much in life as 'i' will after it, but i'm never going to feel those bonesaws; i'm not going to be there while people poke over my open chest. i won't be hurt by any scalpel.

second, it's not disgusting. it's science. you can't learn about the human systems if you don't have the balls to examine them in vivo, and even though i can't watch anatomy videos, other people can, and they need cadavers more than i need to protect people's pathetic victorian-era concepts of "eww gross". if no fucker donated their bodies because it's "nasty" to cut them up, we'd have no doctors.

third, i'm not gonna change my mind about this. this is the logical lead-on from my (much) earlier logical conclusion that there is no afterlife - my reasoning is as sound as human reasoning can ever be, and unless someone shows me repeatable, solid evidence that i could a. exist independently of my own neurons and b. might somehow need to keep their useless rapidly-decaying mass untouched after death as a result of this, i'm not gonna feel the need to revise my logic.

so i'm not gonna be buried. i specified in my will that i don't want any christian funeral like cadavers are usually eventually given, either: i don't want people thinking i ever subscribed to that bullcrap. i'm honoured to be able to be of use without it. all i want is for, in a hundred years' time, someone to look at my flayed and plastic-infused hand in a dissection room and be able to marvel at its workings, like they would anyone else's; that, and for me to not be the only one with enough sense to have let them see that. i just want people to benefit from medicine while they live, and benefit it in kind once they die.

is that so fucking disgusting?



Ian said...


Anonymous said...

No, it isn't. Fucking simpletons.

Gareth Nelson said...

Old post I know, just came across it while reading your blog.
Instead of medical research, why not cryonics?

Modern techniques can preserve that brain of yours wonderfully, meaning permanent death is no longer a certainty.

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