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      Mortui Vivos Docent” or Who Gives His Body to Science? The Analysis of the Personal Questionnaires of Polish Donors in the Conscious Body Donation Program

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          The Conscious Body Donation Program conducted since 2003 by the Department of Human Anatomy, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice was the first innovative project aimed at obtaining informed donors' bodies for the purpose of teaching anatomy in Poland. The aim of this prospective study was to determine the declared donors' characteristics and to establish the possible motivation for body donation. A total of 244 application files were reviewed and the following information was analyzed: donor’s age, age at which the decision to donate the body was made, donor’s place of residence and declared nationality, family background, education and profession, family structure and religion. Our results showed that mainly elderly people decided to donate their bodies (68.5 ± 11.84 years), living mostly in large and medium-sized cities. Men - donors often lived in small towns. Most of the donors were of blue-collar parentage, completed secondary education and at the time of taking decision to donate where married and retired. Widows were more likely to make the decision to donate than widowers. Most of our donors were Catholic. Our analysis of the profile of Polish donors may be useful to understand better for which groups of people death is not to be perceived as the end, and may become a value, which can be beneficial to living people.

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          The human cadaver in the age of biomedical informatics.

          Major national and international critiques of the medical curriculum in the 1980s noted the following significant flaws: (1) over-reliance on learning by rote memory, (2) insufficient exercise in analysis and synthesis/conceptualization, and (3) failure to connect the basic and clinical aspects of training. It was argued that the invention of computers and related imaging techniques called to question the traditional instruction based on the faculty-centered didactic lecture. In the ensuing reform, which adopted case-based, small group, problem-based learning, time allotted to anatomical instruction was severely truncated. Many programs replaced dissection with prosections and computer-based learning. We argue that cadaver dissection is still necessary for (1) establishing the primacy of the patient, (2) apprehension of the multidimensional body, (3) touch-mediated perception of the cadaver/patient, (4) anatomical variability, (5) learning the basic language of medicine, (6) competence in diagnostic imaging, (7) cadaver/patient-centered computer-assisted learning, (8) peer group learning, (9) training for the medical specialties. Cadaver-based anatomical education is a prerequisite of optimal training for the use of biomedical informatics. When connected to dissection, medical informatics can expedite and enhance preparation for a patient-based medical profession. Actual dissection is equally necessary for acquisition of scientific skills and for a communicative, moral, ethical, and humanistic approach to patient care. Anat Rec (New Anat) 269:20-32, 2002. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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            Should we continue teaching anatomy by dissection when ...?

            The central role that human dissection has long held in clinical education is being reevaluated in many institutions. Despite the impression that many institutions are abandoning dissection, very few have and most of those have reinstated dissection within a few years. What are the inherent qualities that lead institutions back to dissection? In our efforts to redesign a shortened dissection course, our consultations with a broad range of clinicians lead us to understand how the rhythms of clinical practice are modeled and developed in the small-group setting of the dissection laboratory. Following further consultation with colleagues who have experimented with different models of anatomy instruction, we discuss three themes in support of dissection. First, problem-solving in the dissection laboratory develops the habits-of-mind of clinical practice. Second, relating dissection to imaging modalities develops the spatial reasoning skills needed to understand computer simulations, interpret imaging data, and interact with surgeons, radiologists, and patients. Third, the human face of dissection fosters self-reflection and integration of the cognitive and affective skills required for medical practice. Through group process, the collaborative effort of dissection teams develops essential of attributes of clinical professionalism.
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              Whole body donation for medical science: a population-based study.

              Although cadaveric whole-body donation for the purposes of medical science is extremely important for medical education, the number of persons who choose to donate remains low. We assessed persons' willingness to consider whole body donation in a standardized telephone survey of Maryland households, identified using random digit dialing. In multivariable analyses, we assessed the independent relation of sociodemographics and attitudinal factors to willingness to consider donation, and we determined the amount of variation in willingness to consider donation among the study population that could be explained by these factors. Of 385 participants (84% of randomized homes), 49% reported they would consider whole body donation. In bivariate analysis, younger age, African-American race/ethnicity, less education and income, greater number of dependents, marital status, and attitudes about religion/spirituality, trust in hospitals, and income, gender, and racial/ethnic discrimination in hospitals were statistically significantly associated with 40-70% less odds of willingness to consider donation. After adjustment, persons of African-American race/ethnicity, less education, and those agreeing with the statements, "Rich patients receive better care at hospitals than poor patients," and "White patients receive better care at hospitals than other racial or ethnic groups," had 40-60% less odds of willingness to consider donation when compared to their counterparts. Respondents' race/ethnicity and education contributed most to willingness to consider donation. We conclude that demographic and attitudinal factors are strongly related to willingness to consider whole body donation. Efforts to enhance donation should seek to identify ways in which potential barriers to donation can be addressed by health professionals. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                19 March 2015
                : 10
                : 3
                Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
                ISMETT-UPMC Italy/ University of Catania, ITALY
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: WL GB. Performed the experiments: GB. Analyzed the data: WL KK. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: WL GB. Wrote the paper: WL P. Kuszewski. Help in collecting data: AŁ P. Kłakus.


                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

                Page count
                Figures: 7, Tables: 0, Pages: 10
                The authors have no support or funding to report.
                Research Article
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                The full raw dataset cannot be made publicly available due to legal and ethical restrictions protecting the identities of responders. Data will be made available upon request to the corresponding author.



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