Donating body to science?!

Well, I was minding my own business in lesson today, and the teacher opened a closet door and showed us a skeleton of an old teacher called ‘William’ even though we have a fake model…but for some reason there is a real one in a closet in my college… I understand that donating organs, is seen as charitable when one has passed away but a whole skeleton?! somebody shed some light on the situation for me please, because I don’t see how it’s very respectful of the body, his toe has fallen off and at the bottom of the closet, and kids poke fun at him when they see him - I just feel uncomfortable with the fact there is real human remains in my classroom…I just don’t know what to do and how to react to it - when I first saw the skeleton was real I immediately prayed for him, but eek!!!

While I myself will never do it, my understanding is that the donation of ones body to medical science is considered charitable. After all, donated organs aren’t useful if human bodies can’t be studied by future surgeons who would transplant them.

I have heard that medical students, who study the anatomy of the at that point still-intact bodies, are urged to respect their dignity. Sadly, after 500 years of Halloween, a skeleton doesn’t command that respect, and there’s not much to be done about it.

I agree that having the remnants of a deceased person in one’s workplace can be creepy.

You did the right thing in praying for the soul of that body. It’s a shame that now it’s usefulness to medicine is over, that he can’t be put in an ossuary and laid to rest.


He’s just left in the closet and some kind of “attraction” for students in our class… I just can’t understand what use it would be in my college… the closet is the the length and width of a casket too (standing up) so it creeps me out a lot. I don’t know what they do in the UK with these remains, if they just incinerate them and throw them in the trash when done, or something, I don’t know :frowning:

I’m just not sure if the Church has an official stance on this, I know about donating organs, but not the whole skeleton and body, I didn’t know this and I’m still not sure - either way, I think the uselessness of this person is just morally wrong and extremely disrespectful!

The university medical schools are always very grateful to those who donate their bodies to science. Students study anatomy by dissecting real bodies and the bodies are also used to study disease processes. Here is an article you might find helpful.

however, our college studies nothing on this subject so complex, we have a model skeleton that’s all we need - this real skeleton is more of a display or something, so the skeleton is useless at this college, and useless to medicine as long as it stays in the closet…:shrug:

Really, donating one’s body to science is a beautiful gesture. It gives people a chance to study. That’s unfortunate about the lack of respect of some immature students. Still, the gesture stands, whether it’s always appreciated and valued or not is a separate issue.

We need to respect those whose cadavers we are using, since it is for our own benefit and learning. I wish Science teachers would explain that to students and insist they treat them with the utmost respect.

If it weren’t for people donating their bodies to science, it would be much more difficult for people, especially doctors, to become doctors, since they need cadavers to study on.

Perhaps in times past the real skeleton served more of an educational purpose than it does now. Maybe you could suggest that, since it is the remains of a real human being, the time has come to give it / him a proper burial. Maybe a class project?

Please don’t tell me you had a Hamlet moment.

Too bad it couldn’t be donated to somewhere they would really use it. I think that was probably the person’s intention all along when he donated his body to science.

what does that involve? ahahahha:D

I’ve heard cadavers are actually quite valuable.

that is a great shame, it is sad people put a price on things so sacred, like our bodies, and relics

Rather than burying it, I think it’d be more in the spirit with the person donating to pass that on to someone else, a college?

Please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying.

I have had a card as donating a cadaver, myself, in part because my brother is a doctor. I remember him talking about how he had to study on cadavers.

Once, someone wrote a letter to the editor in my town on organ donation, and I wrote another on cadaver donation. They posted my letter in that College of Medicine!

If you had to pay for a cadaver, they are expensive, I understand, though.

To give the gift of study to a future physician is no small thing.

In fact, they did a memorial every so often, (yearly?/biyearly?) specifically for those who donated their cadavers, to honor their gift and sacrifice for the sake of study of those future physicians.

There, they instructed students to treat them with respect.

You know they had a skeleton in a closet and the teacher is the gravedigger.
The OP is Hamlet :smiley:

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