Thinking more deeply about donating my body to science, I wonder if there's the possibility that the doctors who use my body might learn something that leads them to do something immoral. What if they learned something that enabled them to design a device that would hasten one's death for assisted suicide? Or what if they did research on a woman's body and used that for abortion research?
Hmmm...now we're going down that slippery slope. I wonder if the donor can place stipulations on what their body is used for? From what I can see it's really mostly used to get people used to learning the various parts of the human body in a very "up close and personal" way. So I'm not overly worried about this.
Secondly, I suppose trust in God comes into play here as well as the concept of free will. I can only control what I can control. If a doctor doing research discovers something from researching my body, they then have the choice to do with that knowledge what they will--for good or for evil.
God granted us free will and this kind of gives me a glimpse into that letting go that God had to do in order that we might be free to choose good and avoid evil. Our God is indeed very trusting to us humans, in fact he gave us the whole world. Might I be just as trusting with my old useless bag o bones one day?
Jesus gives us His body each week. And we literally have Christ coursing through our veins, carried by our blood into our hearts so that we might change the world, if we dare to be changed by Christ. It is that body that lay in the arms of His sorrowful mother that was exhausted for us, so that we might become something new, something better, forever.
The resurrected body of Jesus indeed is not like the old bag o bones that lay in Mary's arm and that serves as one of the greatest pieces of artwork of all time--the Pieta. Resurrection is not resuscitation, it is glorification, a much stronger and unbreakable body--one that can laugh at death and never be harmed again. It is the transformation that goes beyond the flesh and bone that we know into the flesh and bone that can never be exhausted again. It is able to be consumed by all of us and there is always more.
God's mercy and trust are also just as plentiful. God never runs out of trust for us.
And therefore, perhaps I should be more trusting of my future gift to these doctors, that they might become a gift to the world for healing and for goodness.
And in that perhaps, I'll be a bit more like Jesus, who helps us all rise to new life.
Your humble blogger is Mike Hayes, a well-known expert in the world of young adult ministry (20s and 30s) in the Catholic Church. Mike is the author of Googling God (Paulist, 2007) where he explores both the chaotic world that young people live in and their religious reactions to that world. He also explores the age of instant gratification and how churches can respond to the needs of the young adult age by using technology alongside more traditional ministry methods.
Mike founded the award winning BustedHalo.com® in 2001 and continues to contribute to it as the editor of their catechetical section appropriately named Googling God.
Recently, he left BustedHalo® to focus on more direct ministry with young people at St Joseph University Parish as a Campus Minister for the South Campus at the University at Buffalo.
He has only two loves: his adorable wife, Marion and a nine pound chihuahua named Haze, who still find him amusing enough to let them live in their home.