ODT: Bequeathed bodies aid medical science

A survey has shown that most of the people who have bequeathed their bodies to the University of Otago’s School of Medicine have done so out of the wish to contribute to medical science and teaching.

The survey, to which 140 people responded, also suggests that this proportion has been rising since 1992: the last time a survey of this sort was carried out.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“The next most common main reason for donation of the 209 given in the latest survey was gratitude to the medical profession, either for treatment received by themselves or their relatives and friends.

“Many respondents commented that their medical conditions might be of interest to students, including joint replacements, arterial bypass operations, cancer, multiple sclerosis and emphysema.

“The respondents, who registered their bequests between 2000 and 2009, were mostly aged over 50.

“Almost 40% had other family members who had donated bodies, “suggesting that this form of altruistic behaviour is not only a feature of individuals but, in some cases, families”.”