MedCure, a leading non-transplant tissue bank accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks, announced findings of the MedCure Mortality Survey. More than 1,600 respondents answered questions ranging from views on mortality and the afterlife to what they want to have happen to their bodies after death, revealing that millennials and baby boomers are twice as likely as Gen X to donate their body to science, and women are more likely than men to be afraid of the afterlife.
"U.S. mortality improvements are falling behind other high-income countries," stated Heidi Kayser, director of donor education and outreach at MedCure. "Additionally, people have more choices today than ever before when it comes to the disposition of their remains, making this survey particularly timely."
The survey uncovered respondents' perspectives on the disposition of their bodies after death. Notably, millennials are:
- 19% less likely than Gen X to opt for cremation alone
- 16% less likely than baby boomers to talk to their family about their afterlife wishes
- Along with baby boomers, twice as likely as Gen Xers to donate their body to science with cremation
According to AudienceSCAN, 34.8% of Funeral/Final Expenses Purchasers are between the ages of 17 and 34, 29% are ages 35 to 54 and 36.2% are ages 55 and older.
"With life expectancy increasing globally, scientists are seeking ways to improve people's health and quality of life as they age. Access to anatomical specimens is critical to enable education, training and research to achieve this goal," noted Kayser. "Whole body donation is a viable option, and we've seen a 30% annual increase in the number of people leaving a lasting legacy by pre-signing to donate their body to science."
Gender differences revealed in the survey show that women are:
- 10% more likely than men to believe in the afterlife
- 12% more likely to be somewhat afraid or terrified of the afterlife
- 10% more likely to speak to others about their wishes for their body after they have passed
- 12% more likely to be registered organ donors
According to AudienceSCAN, it's a personal goal of 22.5% of Funeral/Final Expenses Purchasers to become more spiritual this year and 22.8% would like to volunteer for a cause or charity. A little over 23% would also like to buy things that help them feel proud in the coming year.
"Everything doctors know about human physiology was learned by studying human bodies, and medical communities depend on the selflessness of donors to improve the health and lives of others," added Kayser. "Much as organ donation has become a 'norm,' we are normalizing whole body donation, particularly for those ineligible to donate their organs."
The variety of post-death options available can be made known to more consumers through advertising. Last year, 77.5% of Funeral/Final Expenses Purchasers took action after seeing a commercial on TV, which is also where 40.7% of this audience gets most of their local news. Print is also an effective route. Last year, 74.3% took action after receiving ads or coupons in the mail and 66.6% reacted to newspaper ads. This audience is also 73% more likely than other adults to take action after seeing an ad in a directory search, both online or printed in the yellow pages.
AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.