A Deadly Serious Decision : Jake

A Deadly Serious Decision : Jake

Today’s podcast is a fairly brief one albeit a subject most people don’t want to talk about. I’ve called it: A deadly serious decision

Whoa! As they say ‘it’s make your mind up time’. I’ve never been one to dither over a decision in fact as my darling Pollyanna will tell you she often tells me that I’m impetuous; I make instant decisions and act without proper consideration. I counter her criticism with the statement that it doesn’t matter because I am never wrong.

I did something that for me was incredible.  A decision somewhat marred by the fact that I decided to do it in March but it took me more than six months to pull the trigger.  I don’t usually dither once I’ve got an idea in my head, but this time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I kept forgetting to make the call.

In March when I finally made up my mind, I had been to the funeral of a relative and I suppose I had time on the long drive home to consider my own mortality.  I decided that if it would not upset my close relatives I would do something useful when my time came.  I would donate my body for medical science, training and research.

I’m old but not ready to go yet.  I keep myself fit, still working out for a couple of hours in the gym most days.  I am a practising High Anglican Christian and believe in life after death in Heaven and will have no use for my body after I die.  When I floated the idea with my family there was a tendency to go silent before responding. Gill my wife and my family all agreed that it should be my decision and they would happily go along with it.
After taking so long to put things in order, I telephoned the Medical Department at Leicester University to put the wheels in motion.  I jokingly stressed that I’m not ready to go yet and in fact yesterday had renewed my annual membership at Bannatyne’s gym and I don’t wish to waste it.

I have a laugh among my friends that if they decide to visit me at the University I shall be the friendly 6 feet 1 inch tall skeleton standing in the corner that everyone calls Jake and passes the time of day with and on Rag Days the students dress in a cap and scarf.

The truth of the matter is that my body will probably be used for students teaching and perfecting of medical knowledge and techniques. To practice carrying out post mortems, or perhaps train to fit new joints or even rehearsing heart or kidney transplants and so on. Meanwhile they are welcome to use any useful organs from my aging worn out body in the same way as any usual organ donation.

It sounds rather strange that they only want a body donated from a healthy person except they will be dead. They won’t consider if you succumbed to a communicable illness or anything that doesn’t have a known cause. For the sake of medical teaching, a human body has to also be as intact and ‘normal’ as possible, to reflect the majority of persons a typical medic will encounter. As I said, perfectly healthy, just dead.

Having put my affairs in order I am feeling relaxed and fitter than ever.  I don’t know why I took so long about it.  I’m sure that medical students will be fascinated when they find the carbon fibre pins that repaired my cruciate and medial ligaments in the 1970s – then my two replacement knee joints and my two replacement thumb joints.  I shall keep those interesting features secret just in case my file gets marked D N R (do not resuscitate).

You see I’m not ready to go yet.  It may give a clue as to why I have decided to give a bit back . . . . . . . Do not go gentle into that good night.  Old age should burn and rage at close of day . . . . . . .   Goodnight Nurse!