Meet your cadaver
Medical students watch an interview with their dissection body
- By: Helen Martyn, Paul Trotman, Anthony Barrett, Helen Nicholson
The anonymity of the cadaver in the teaching of anatomy is a controversial issue. Many Western medical schools ensure that the identity and life of the cadaver is not disclosed to students, whereas other schools, particularly in Asia, encourage the experience of dissection to be as personal and contextual as possible.12
At the University of Otago in New Zealand, the identities of cadavers are usually unknown to the students (box 1).
In 2007, a class of 24 second year medical students was interviewed throughout the two years of the dissection course. At the end of the course, the students were shown interviews with their donors, which had been filmed before the donors died.
Potential body donors were invited to take part by HN and PT, and willing participants—two with terminal illnesses—were interviewed and then followed through their journey in the dissection room.
The two donors interviewed gave altruistic reasons for