Don’t donate your body to Harvard

I’d long considered donating my body to science, once I’m done with it. Now I’m having second thoughts after learning about the Harvard morgue scandal.

I’m not at all concerned about the fact my body would be chopped up — I’d be dead, and the alternative is rotting or getting burned up — but what would bother me when signing the donation papers is that morbid ghouls like this bunch would be making tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars off my donation.

All told, prosecutors say tens of thousands of dollars changed hands in this gruesome years-long scheme: One indictment states that Pauley sent Taylor more than $40,000; Lampi paid Pauley more than $8,000; and Pauley paid Lampi more than $100,000. Sarah estimates that her ex made a couple hundred thousand dollars in total.

That money should go to the grieving dependents, not some random creep with a sick fetish!


  1. wzrd1 says

    I offered to donate my body to science. The doctor said, science doesn’t accept joke gifts.

  2. drsteve says

    Confession: I’ve been toying with the idea lately of seeing if I can specify that my cremains be donated to a local coven, for use in occult rituals.

  3. John Morales says

    [drsteve, huh. Never seen that word before, but I instantly knew what it meant. Nice!]

  4. Daniel Storms says

    Due to several major and lots of minor infirmities and the concomittant need for multiple drugs, I figure my body doesn’t have anything anyone would accept for transplant (maybe skin for temporary burn treatment, but that’s about it). So I’m donating it to UCONN’s med school for students to learn on. For the reasons cited above, I doubt anyone could make a buck off it

  5. Nathaniel Hellerstein says

    What of archeological discoveries? We display Lucy’s bones and King Tut’s mummy to paying museum guests. Does enough time wipe out need for consent?

    There’s plenty of companies selling skeletons cast from plastic. That should be creepy enough. But wait, how did they source the model for those casts?

  6. birgerjohansson says

    Universities behaving badly :

    Ed O’Neill: ‘Slap in the face’ for alma mater YSU to make GOP election denier president of the university.
    Former Al Bundy actor may return the honorary degree he received in 2013, “it does not mean anything anymore”.


  7. Rich Woods says

    My grandad donated his body to science, but the university hospital called my grandma to say, “Thanks, but no thanks” and returned him. She never did say what reason they gave.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    I recall shady doings with human remains going as far back as the Dubya years. Apparently there is a market for dead organs in the context of research etc, and you cannot count on getting the right kind of specimen donated at the local hospital.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    Human composting begins with dehydration. This reminds me, I am told small animals can be preserved without normal taxidermy. They are dehydrated and the tissues then have a preservative fluid replace water.
    If you are into Egyptian pharao stuff this seems a more hygienic form of mummification for humans.
    Evita Peron was preserved this way, but after the last Argentine military junta fell some disgruntled officer cut off her legs with a hacksaw as a “fuck you” to the Peronists.

  10. says

    They only request I’ve made as to my remains is that they be somehow used to scare children.
    Beyond that, I’m pretty sure I don’t care.

  11. abutsimehc says

    Strongly recommend to anyone contemplating donating their mortal remains “to science” to read “STIFF, the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers” by Mary Roach (W.W. Norton & Co., 2003). It will make one think twice (as it did me) about it. (FWIW: It was given to me by a former student and practicing Medical Doctor … who knew about such things.)

  12. wzrd1 says

    abutsimehc @ 14, on youtube, the channel “Institute for Human Anatomy” shows a lot of the more valid uses.
    Not so valid, to put “humorous” abuses, well, stories abound in every teaching institution.

  13. Matthew Currie says

    Not all the relevant to Harvard here, but long ago I knew a retired doctor, who had had at various times, some pretty high positions. When he found he was dying of cancer, he left his body to a university. He remarked, ” I’ve taught at the University of Chicago, and at Johns Hopkins, and now I’m going to teach at Yale.”