Modern grave robbers
- By: Subhash Chandir Ochani, Ahsan M Ahmad, Farrukh Raza Malik
What would you do if human bones were an essential part of your medical course but your university could not afford them? Three medics from Pakistan present some ways out of the dilemma
The practice of robbing graves to facilitate scientific study of bones and cadavers is nothing new in medicine. In the early 18th century, Britain witnessed a booming trade of exhumed human bodies controlled by grave robbers when anatomy and dissection of the human body became an integral part in study of modern medicine. Because exhuming bodies was considered to be a sacrilege, grave diggers--also known as body snatchers, resurrectionists, or sack ''em up men--became associated with anatomy and surgery departments of medical schools. The practice still persists in many countries across the world, especially developing countries.1–5 In countries such as Pakistan, medical institutions may not be able to afford scientific tools, including bones required for anatomical studies.