Modern medicine offers a whole range of replacement parts, right from whole limbs to shoulders and joints, #pacemakers and #internalcardiacdefibrillators (ICDs) to #dentures and #siliconebreastimplants. The destiny of your implant or prostheses is dependent on the implant type.

#Prostheticlimbs are dismantled and shipped to countries where they are needed, there local clinicians would reassemble them to fit patients. Inert devices such as replacement hips and breast implants are not removed after death, as they pose very little threat to the environment. However, in case of cremation it is a different story as silicone may burn up in the furnace, but the metal in implants won’t. These are often segregated and disposed.

Pacemakers and ICDs are generally removed from the body after death and almost always prior to cremation, as their batteries can explode upon heating. The same holds true for #spinalcordstimulators and certain types of internal pumps for administration of drugs, as they also contain electronics. Once removed, such implants are discarded as both the #EuropeanUnion and the US prohibit the reuse of such #implantedmedicaldevices. However, in the developing world, there is a growing trend towards the reuse of implanted medical devices. Certain institutions such as #Pace4Life and #ProjectMyHeartYourHeart are trying to make #pacemakerrecycling a reality.

Enterprising organizations such as Orthometals, collect tonnes of metal from crematoriums across Europe and melt it into ingots before selling it to the #automotiveindustry. Some companies such as, #ImplantRecycling, sell the recast metal back to the medical industry. Therefore, after you die, a piece of you might live on in a wind turbine, a car, an aeroplane, or even in another person.