For future physicians, the ability to observe the human body and learn surgical techniques in a gross anatomy lab is a critical educational step.
Body donation programs continue, but donations are low at schools including Northeast Ohio Medical University.
The Record Courier spoke with Hans Thewissen, Ph.D., Ingalls-Brown professor of anatomy in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, about the situation.
Dr. Thewissen noted that NEOMED’s donations have been down this year.
“We can’t take bodies who have been exposed to an infectious disease [such as COVID-19],” he said, but emphasized that the University’s body donation program is running as usual. He explained how it advances medical education, research and improved patient care.
Dr. Thewissen told the Record Courier that a memorial service for relatives and friends is held annually and that the cremains are returned. A decorative wall honoring those who have given to the body donation program at NEOMED is in the lobby of the University’s main entrance.