The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

January 30, 2013

Cadavers honored in med student dissection lab

GARY, Ind. — When medical students have finished their study and practice on cadavers, they often hold a respectful memorial service to honor these bodies donated to science.

But the ceremonies at one medical school, Indiana University School of Medicine-Northwest campus, has a surreal twist: Relatives gather around the cold steel tables where their loved ones were dissected and which now hold their remains beneath metal covers. The tables are topped with white or burgundy-colored shrouds, flags for military veterans, flowers and candles.

The medical students join the families in the lab and read letters of appreciation about the donors, a clergy member offers prayers, and tears are shed.

Medical student Kyle Parker said he admired the donors’ relatives for showing up, and wondered if he were in their shoes, “would I be willing to meet the people who have actually dissected my family member?”

Parker said he hopes the answer would be yes.

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