Donating One's Body to Science


Is it a sin for a Catholic to not only donate his viable organs to living recipients, but also the rest of his corporeal body to science (as a cadaver).

I ask because as a pre-med student, I’ve worked quite a good deal with cadavers and understand their necessity in the progression of medicine. Since I know God is all-powerful, my donating my body as a cadaver shouldn’t hinder his resurrecting me when the time comes.

If it is considered sinful, is it due to implied intention like how circumcision was (i.e. circumcision was once a mortal sin as many who were circumcising their children at the time were doing so for some kind of “salvific” purpose, whereas today most who have this done do so out of hygiene or cultural tradition and so the gravity of the sin has dropped)?

To make this perfectly clear again:

I am NOT denying the resurrection by donating my body to science, rather I trust in an omnipotent God for whom resurrection (even out of no remains) is possible. I am also NOT denying the intrinsic value of the individual person by donating my body to science, rather I’m VALIDATING IT by donating that which I will no longer need to a noble cause.


I’ve always understood that it’s generally acceptable (that is, not sinful).

Michelle Arnold agrees: :thumbsup:



It seems I should familiarize myself with the search feature on CA before posting :o

closed #4

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