The anatomy department doctors at Government Medical College, Aurangabad were taken aback when parents of 5-year-old Rudra Deshmukh expressed the desire to donate their only son’s body.
Rudra, a cerebral palsy patient, succumbed to the disease at home. “In my entire career, I have never seen such a young body donated,” said Dr Shivaji Sukre, head of the anatomy department.
Sukre said Rudra’s parents being doctors wanted to donate his body instead of cremating him. “They knew the importance of donating body. They wanted his body to be useful for others after death. It is a painful decision and we appreciate their courage,” said Sukre. Every year, GMC, Aurangabad, requires at least 20 bodies for their under graduate and post graduate doctors. “There are two types of donations- above 18 and below 18. In body donations below 18, we require parent’s consent and death certificate,” said Sukre.
Health experts say body donation is a gift to science. “It helps medical students learn anatomy of the human body. For post graduate medical students, it is used for practicing surgery. Cadaveric body is used by established surgeons to try new surgical procedures and even for practise,” said a senior doctor from anatomy department of KEM Hospital.
One can register for body donation with any of the medical colleges. “Presently, in KEM Hospital alone, we have 1-2 donations in a month. Apart from cadaver donation, we use unclaimed bodies too but with technology etc, the unclaimed bodies too are coming down. We therefore need more body donations,” said the doctor.