When people think of Nevada, they think of Las Vegas, gambling and adventure. But maybe you should start thinking of it as home to the lucrative business of selling body parts of the deceased. In Southern Nevada, there’s an entire practice known as "body brokers." According to a Reuters report, such businesses place pamphlets in funeral homes, promising to pay for a free cremation if they donate their loved ones bodies to their organization to help alleviate funeral costs.
But what exactly happens to the bodies once they go such a business? One of the pamphlet-leaving businesses was then subject to an investigation after a foul odor came from the building, revealing the dismemberment and preserving of body parts. Some body parts of the loved one would be burned and returned, but most of them ended up being sold — a head goes for $500 dollars. And the biggest surprise? What they are doing is legal.
It’s common to donate to science, but when people are ill-informed of what that exactly means, it becomes a personal matter, especially when it can mean removing a loved one's head and selling it to some stranger across the Mississippi.
Nevada is not the only place where people are being targeted. Low-income families cannot afford fancy funerals or gravesites, yet they too want to respect and mourn their lost loved one. Making them the prime target of the aforementioned companies as they are desperate to find solace in their loss. People deserve to know what happens to their love ones in full honesty, and what it means when they are donated for when it is stated to science.
The government should keep a better tab on this in order to insure the happiness and honor people's last rights. So double check what will happen to your body after you're gone, for you may want to keep your head.
Lauren Sheil is a freshman studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What do you think? Let Lauren know by tweeting her @laurensheil101.