Voluntary body donation
Body donation: Any adult can donate their body to the medical colleges for anatomical studies, scientific research and education. Registration of the wish to be a body donor after death is possible at the Anatomy Department of all Government Medical Colleges. However a parent can decide to donate the body of their child.
This donation is to be made to the authorised medical colleges. The college may be attached to a tertiary hospital (a facility that provides medical care that requires highly specialized skills, technology and supportive services) or a teaching hospital where it will be used solely for the purpose of research or training of students.
A few famous Indians have motivated and supported by becoming voluntary body donors.
to read about them.
Purpose of Voluntary Body Donation
- Bodies are useful for understanding human body and for advancing science
- Helps medical students learn relations of human anatomic structures and development of psychomotor skills by dissection
- Practical learning through dissection is the finest source for gaining medical knowledge, more than any textbook or computers
- Help surgeons and others to experiment innovative surgical skills and procedures in the form of cadaver labs, workshops.
- Help cadaver banks (brain, skin, vessel) – molecular research and cadaver grafting
Who can donate their body?
Almost anyone can become a whole body donor after death. There is no upper age limit. Even those who are very ill could be eligible, as researchers often require donors who have a specific disease or medical condition.
While it is not necessary to register in advance to become a body donor, it can be useful to connect with an organization or Anatomy Depart of a medical College in advance to ensure there is no confusion about the individual’s wishes and that arrangements are made quickly after the individual passes.
What is the Registration Process for body donation?
Identify the closest hospital or medical college or NGOs that may facilitate body donation, and contact them to understand their requirements for whole body registration. Each Medical College Hospital will have a slightly different set of rules and procedures. Registration forms and information about body donation is available in the Anatomy Department of a Medical College. Register yourself under the voluntary donation programme after understanding the procedure for donation.
to view other medical colleges with the facility to accept body donation.
Myths and Facts about Voluntary Body Donation
- Myth - The organs will be removed from the dead person and distributed for transplantation
Fact - Organs from a person who dies at home or in hospital cannot be used. Only under controlled situation can organs retrieved from a brain-stem dead person can be used for transplantation.
- Myth - All private medical college hospitals can accept voluntary body donation.
Fact - Private medical colleges with license to accept donation can accept bodies as per Anatomy Act. Very few such colleges have been issued permission to accept voluntary donations. Donations are usually done at the Government Medical Colleges.
- Myth - When multi-organ donation has been done, the body can be accepted for donation.
Fact - After multi-organ donation is completed, the body cannot be donated since it will not be useful for study purposes. Medical schools will require a complete body, and will usually decline a body of a person has undergone surgery for removal of organs or tissues for transplantation. Body donation is possible following donation of corneas (eye donation).
Anatomy Act for Body Donation
The Maharashtra Anatomy Act, 1949 was the first Act enacted in India - “An Act to provide for the supply of unclaimed bodies of deceased persons (or donated bodies or any part thereof of deceased persons) to hospitals and medical and teaching institutions for the purpose of anatomical examination and dissection and other similar purposes.”
Many Indian States have their own Anatomy Act.
to get an understanding of the Anatomy Acts of India.
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