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Just finished reading Mary Roach’s, “Stiffs: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.” What’s that, you say? What would possess an otherwise sane human being to read about dead bodies? Because it’s darned fascinating, that’s why.

In “Stiffs”, Roach discusses how cadavers have been used to help the living throughout history. Everything from testing the machines of execution to be sure there’s a clean cut, to present day when med school students “operate” to be sure they’re learning on something that is NOT a dummy. Throw in that cadavers are used to test the restraint systems of vehicles, to donate organs to those who are in need and, well, there’s a perfect example of “the gift that keeps on giving.”

During the read, every chapter would make me think, “Yeah! That’s what I want my body to be used for when I’m dead!” That’s everything from testing plastic surgery techniques to bone banks to, believe it or not, human composting. More than anything, it just reinforced in my mind how important organ donation is. This is such an important point that I have it specifically written into my will – take whatever you can use. I won’t need it where I’m going.

If you have a strong stomach and are looking for a good read, think about Roach’s “Stiffs.” And if not, just consider organ donation – it’s one of the only ways to give the gift of life.

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