After Death, does Cremation, Burial or Science Sound the More Appealing?

Horrible though the thought of it is, death is inevitable, even for young people. It’s a wise move therefore, for everyone to think about what they want done with their body once they die.

When you die, how do you want your body disposed of? There are quite a few different ways to think about. Many new ‘less morbid’ ways have emerged. But most people still consider cremation or burial as the way to go.

Recently 702 radio show had listeners call in and say what ideas they had lined up for themselves when they passed away. For most people, expense always comes into the picture.

Science – Your Body May Undergo Dissection

Some people say ‘what does it matter what you choose,  you’re dead after all’. Yet it is very important for some people to know precisely what will happen to them after death.

  • For burial, those people concerned bout the planet want to ensure that no embalming fluids or toxic chemicals are used. They don’t want huge wooden coffins either, preferring a cheap biodegradable box or casket.
  • Those concerned with costs look at direct cremation. This offers an affordable alternative to traditional burial. If you opt to not bury the cremated remains, you further eliminate those items that make the traditional funeral so expensive. People look at another benefit of cremation in that it allows them to take the ashes with them wherever they go.
  • Others again look at the idea of donating their body to science for any number of reasons – giving back to society or for moral reasons. Some do it for financial reasons as the medical school covers all expenses such as transportation and cremation. You need to live within 300km at least from the medical school.


If you are looking to donate your body to science in South Africa, there are 5 universities accepting body donations – Wits, University of Free State,Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Pretoria. The universities have a representative for the department that deals with these body donations.

Donating Your Body

Once you’ve contacted them, you’re given a document to fill in, bearing in mind that they only accept What Will Happen to Your Body After Deathbodies where death has been my natural means.  They use the arterial system to embalm the body.

Once the Department receives the bequest, they do have to return it. Medical and science students will use your body for teaching and research. You need to understand that dissection will be part of the process.

Whichever university it is, bodies donated for science are treated with respect and confidentiality. Any research conducted on the body has to be evaluated and then approved by the Collections Committee of the School of Anatomical Sciences. This is to ensure that the use of the body is not compromised in any way.

Once dissection of the body has been completed, the remains are cremated, also at the expense of the university.

What’s Top Choice for You?

Most of us don’t want to think about what happens to our bodies after death. Burial and cremation are popular, traditional methods.

When pondering the fate of our mortal remains, there are many options for those who want to be creative even after death. Whatever strikes your fancy, new technology is allowing people to show interest in many new ways other than the more conventional methods we know so well.


First step: Get a funeral plan quote here. Complete and submit the form on this page. We will contact you soon.


All info was correct at time of publishing