EDUCATION & RESEARCH
Whole body organ and tissue donation for medical education and research plays a vital role in improving the lives of both current and future generations. Donors that do not meet the stringent criteria required for transplant donation often meet the donation requirements for medical education and research. There are no maximum age restrictions and most non-infectious diseases are accepted. Additionally, the donor’s time of death and cell viability is not nearly as stringent as it is with transplant.
Although recent advancements in computer technology allow for more detailed and accurate simulations of the body, these simulations cannot replace human tissue. When surgeons are developing and perfecting new surgical techniques, they must practice in the most realistic, hands-on manner possible. Medical Schools and continuing education classes for doctors and physicians also require human tissue to safely refine and master their practical knowledge, clinical skills and surgical techniques.
Donated tissues from human donors assist researchers in finding new and innovative ways to treat and cure diseases. Unlike organ donation for transplant, a history of disease in a donor does not exclude donation for medical research. Scientists need tissue that is affected by disease as well as non-affected tissue to use as a “control” in understanding and preventing the disease process. Through this research, progress is made daily on new therapies and cures for diseases such as cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and many other debilitating ailments.