9VSPO
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Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:36 am

A new report here in the UK shows that at the moment there is a shortage of bodies for medical students to practice on. Without these bodies these students will be unable to develop the skills they will need for the future. So my question is have you ever considered donating your body to medical science? Or is it something that you couldn't do?
 
cosec59
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:39 am

I have often donated part of my body to the nursing and caring community. Does that count?
Rules are for the obedience of fools but for the guidance of wise men
 
9VSPO
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:49 am

Quoting Cosec59 (Reply 1):
I have often donated part of my body to the nursing and caring community

Mr B, this is a serious question! How is medical science going to move forward and aid new students without enough bodies to practice on?

Personally I have no problem with it. My lungs might be a bit rough due to years of smoking and my liver has seen better days but it's the only way students will learn.
 
aloges
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:50 am

In Germany (or at least at my uni) you can only do that if you're 50 or older. And they apparently have everything but a shortage because the government doesn't pay any support to the relatives anymore... makes paying for the highly expensive funeral a lot more difficult.

As for myself, well I still have 29 years to figure it out, and I'll take the time! Big grin
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
aloges
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:52 am

Quoting 9VSPO (Reply 2):
Personally I have no problem with it. My lungs might be a bit rough due to years of smoking and my liver has seen better days but it's the only way students will learn.

We like those kinds of "patients"! Nothing better than an "Oh, what do we have/miss here?!" when you're working, it makes things more interesting.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
cosec59
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:53 am

Mr M. I was just trying to help them in trying to raise the dead
Rules are for the obedience of fools but for the guidance of wise men
 
9VSPO
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:54 am

Thanks Aloges,

But here in the UK we do have a shortage of bodies
 
CaptOveur
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:57 am

I am an organ donor... If I am dead I don't really need my body, so part me out. Much like an old 767 I am worth more in parts than as a whole at that point.

Never thought about being a practice body.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
9VSPO
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:20 am

Quoting Cosec59 (Reply 5):
I was just trying to help them in trying to raise the dead

Your willy should go in a museum! It's probably seen more action than Vietnam!
 Big grin

But the brain will probably go straight in the trash!  Wink
 
FlyingTexan
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:26 am

I’m a donor. I’ll be an odd skeleton in the medical school closet. My skull is missing a 3" chunk ~ it will make for an interesting discussion.
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
ArmitageShanks
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:36 am

My parents want to donate their bodies to science.

I will too when I die.
 
mikedlayer
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 4:35 am

I'll let someone else decide for me after I'm gone I think.

I know many opinionated so and so's that will argue any side of my answer. If I say I don't want to I'll be moaned at for not giving back to the world what I took from it...if I say I do want to I'll get horrid looks with their thoughts running along the lines of "why on earth would you want to do that".

I've never really considered it to be honest! Is there really a "shortage of bodies"? :S

Mike
 
xpat
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 4:39 am

I would absolutely donate it to medical science. I'm not going to need it wherever I end up after dying.
The only thing we have to fear is the sky falling on our heads. -Asterix
 
9VSPO
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 4:40 am

Yeah but Mike they could probably spend a week on just your ass it's so big!  Big grin
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 4:54 am

I've been seriously considering this for a while, but I'd like some more information first. Not that it makes any difference when you're dead, but I'm just curious as to what exactly they do, eg: do they cut the body into sections for different students, are any of the parts kept, etc. Apart from the practical aspect, I like the idea of not having a funeral.

Anybody any more concrete information?
 
SmithAir747
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:41 am

I have recently thought of giving my body for medical research. I'm "only" 30, but it doesn't hurt to think ahead!

I have a rare craniofacial deformity syndrome (Treacher Collins syndrome), and my skull (and head, for that matter) would be especially interesting for students/researchers to study and learn about craniofacial deformities and their effects on facial skeletal development. My skull, despite all the surgery I've had on it, still looks quite different from a normal human skull.

All those metal plates and screws (from a lifetime of reconstructive surgery), not to mention the two hearing-aid implants in my skull, would make interesting medical artifacts to study!

SmithAir747
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
 
baylorairbear
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:56 am

Sorry, I can't help it:

I'm going to donate my body to World Hunger Relief.
Signed,
AA61Hvy and/or MiCorazonAzul

I've been probed enough!
Signed,
B744F

I'm going to donate my body to Diamond,
Signed,
Gay.netters

Okay, in all seriousness, I wouldn't mind donating. My father has chosen to do so. At the very least, I think a cremation, which they do after the science part anyway so that your family may still have your remains. A funeral, or more so a gravesite, is just weird. You're gone. Why leave a little piece of earth that your loved ones will feel obligated to visit and care for and make seperation more difficult?

BAB
I'm just skipping stones...
 
aloges
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:18 am

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 14):
Anybody any more concrete information?

I'll try, speaking for just my uni of course. Please do not read this post if you do not want to cope with a graphic description.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 14):
do they cut the body into sections for different students

No. We were separated into groups of, say, 10 to 13 students. Two groups would share one "table", one working in the morning and one in the afternoon. We'd spent 2x 3 hours a week minimum in one of the two halls which both contained about 15 tables. On the other days of the week, we would be free to study what we deemed necessary.
We started trying to remove the skin from the thorax and back, as we developed some skill we proceeded to remove it from the arms and legs.
-> written osteology exam (bones, joints etc.)
After that, we removed connective tissues and fat from the muscles, arteries, nerves and everything else we wanted to see on the arms and legs.
-> oral exam extremities (mostly arms, legs, feet, hands)
Now things got interesting: situs. We started off with the thorax, then proceeded to the abdomen. We removed the heart, lungs, part of the intestine and I think that was it; the rest was well visible.
-> oral exam situs
Next were the head and the neck. Not surprisingly, there's a whole lot of delicate muscles, nerves and whatnot in this area, so it made a lot of sense to do this second last when we already had some more skill and knowledge. They opened the skull in this period so we would be able to see its inside, too.
-> oral exam head/neck
Last, but not least: the central nervous system, meaning the brain and the spinal cord. We didn't work on the spinal cord since that would have been too much work for too little result, so we used older, conserved preparations for that. The brain itself had been removed from the skull earlier (right after they had opened the skull) and was the last part of the body we worked on. It is not in the least mucous, but rather firm and compact, in case you wonder.
-> written exam CNS, end of macroscopic anatomy

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 14):
are any of the parts kept

You mean permanently fixed and put on display? You would have to allow that first, otherwise no part of your body would be put on display.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 14):
I like the idea of not having a funeral.

In Heidelberg's case you will have a funeral, albeit a "mass funeral". All the parts of your body will be collected and cremated well after the semester, then put into an unmarked urn and buried together with the other, identical urns. Some officials from the anatomy department, most students and many relatives of the donors attended the service, and then we proceeded to the cemetery where after another short prayer everyone could pass by the grave if desired.


What did it feel like? I'm not much of an emotional person, and to me it never felt awkward. You also get used to it and the increasing smell as some students will always be too stingy with the fixing fluid, and near the end most students will not have a problem using a chisel to open portions of the skull so they'll be able to see the ear or the eye. However, I am not too eager to return to the anatomy hall and I still don't like the smell of the soap they have in the building - it reminds me of formalin.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:51 am

Interesting, and thanks for all that info, Aloges. I'm still seriously considering it. After all, it's not any more gruesome than being burnt to ashes or slowly rotting away. . .
 
nonrvsmdmf
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:39 pm

My aunt did earlier this year.

She was into science and technology, not religion.

She died from an extremely agressive form of cancer and donated
herself so future doctors could learn. They did harvest her
corneas shortly after we left the hospital.

There was no funeral, just a big Cajun party celebrating her
life.

I will donate my body also. I have already said do not
bury me, just burn me.
I did not forget...I just misplaced the thought...
 
flyingbabydoc
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:07 pm

Quoting Aloges (Reply 4):
We like those kinds of "patients"! Nothing better than an "Oh, what do we have/miss here?!" when you're working, it makes things
more interesting.

Good point! I remember my anatomy classes, our "patient" died of a lung carcinoma - it was interesting to see pathology at the same time.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 14):
I've been seriously considering this for a while, but I'd like some more information first. Not that it makes any difference when you're dead, but I'm just curious as to what exactly they do, eg: do they cut the body into sections for different students, are any of the parts kept, etc. Apart from the practical aspect, I like the idea of not having a funeral.

You can actually specifiy what you want to be done with your body. It can be dissected into small parts for separate study or as a whole. It depends on the university you will donate it to.

Quoting SmithAir747 (Reply 15):
All those metal plates and screws (from a lifetime of reconstructive surgery), not to mention the two hearing-aid implants in my skull, would make interesting medical artifacts to study!

Patients with rare syndromes cannot be used in normal anatomy classes - too much departure from the "normality" which students need to learn. But I am sure your blood makes a much more interesting subject (remember our TFOC1 conversation?). I think you would help more by allowing students to talk to you and examine now, not when you are dead.

Thank you all that are considering the donation. As an university lecturer in Medicine, we deeply appreciate that - no matter in which country you are in.

Alex
Marriage is the art of turning a lover into a relative
 
Pope
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:37 am

I've never understood why organ donation isn't an opt-out sort of system. While I completely respect someone's wish/desire to not have their organs donated, clearly the good of all society would be improved by dramatically increasing the number of organs and tissues available for donation.

I would advocate a system where someone has to affirmatively say no to donation rather than affirmatively say yes.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
stlgph
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RE: Leaving Your Body For Medical Science?

Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:22 am

i tried donating my body to science...they paid me to take it back.
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