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Donating Your or Your Pet's Body To Science

Discussion in 'Veterinary' started by Electrophile, Jan 4, 2008.

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  1. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc

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    Knowing what you know now about anatomy lab (and beyond jokes about "dying to get into medical school"), would you donate your own body or your pet's body to science?
  2. CookieBear

    CookieBear

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    Yes. Despite what I now know about anatomy lab, because, ultimately, it is still a huge learning experience for us.

    I personally believe that the body is just a body after we die... so if my organs can save a life, or help someone learn something that will save a life later on, do it. Ditto for my pets.

    As much as it was a terribly painful time for me, when I lost my cat Sonny last May to cancer, I agreed to a necropsy because I wanted to know what, exactly, we had been dealing with. Different scenario, but it was important to me, especially since I still have Sonny's brother.
  3. Capella

    Capella OK-State 2011

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    I personally want to end up as a median section. Screw being worm food.
  4. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc

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    Speaking of ending up as a section...has anyone been to the Body Worlds touring exhibitions where they take cadavers and replace the fluids and fats with plastic? Me and a couple people from my class may be going to the one in St. Louis pretty soon. I think they've got a couple animal specimens as well as humans.

    http://www.bodyworlds.com/en.html


    As for me, I don't think I'd mind, though I'd want to make sure I was be used for educational purposes, not testing land mines or ammunitions.
  5. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian

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    hmm my school has all donated bodies for our anatomy. Yes I would donate my animal.

    What in the world are you all doing that would make you say "based on what you know about anatomy lab" anyway:eek:?

    As for myself no, only because I want to be placed with my family.
  6. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc

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    Don't get me wrong...I have no objection for either vet or med students doing cadaver dissection, but a lot of lay people have no idea what donating your body to science means. One book I've heard of is a fascinating read is Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. When the first sentence of the book (off of Amazon.com) is "The human head is of the same approximate size and weight as a roaster chicken," you know it's going to be interesting stuff.
  7. RazorDoc2010

    RazorDoc2010 Mizzou 2011

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    STIFF is an excellent book. I just got done reading it. And she's right...whether it's safety testing for automobile manufacturers, landmine testing, plastic surgery practice, or participating in decomposition studies, people have no idea what they mean when they "donate their body to science." (although most do end up the academic route)

    The book also has some interviews with CA med students talking about how their cadavers are treated. They have funerals for them at the end of the semester and as one girl said, "Every time I palpate anything, or do any surgery, this is the body that I will have in my mind." I'd definitely donate.
  8. clawsbeatskin

    clawsbeatskin

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    Yes. Go. It is amazing. There is an entire horse display that pays for the admission itself.
  9. CookieBear

    CookieBear

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    Hey! We just went to the Bodies exhibit in NYC today. They only had humies. Uhm.. humans. ;)

    Regardless, it was really cool and I'd recommend it.
  10. PAThbrd

    PAThbrd LA Surgery Resident Moderator Emeritus

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    definitely definitely go to Body Worlds. Its awesome!

    I'm an organ donor so thats my contribution to science :) I dont think med students would find it particularly useful if half my body was already gone...

    I would not donate my dog. Its probably kinda selfish but she's mine and I don't want to share! I don't even know if I'd do a necropsy. The scientist in me says yes but I don't think I could bring myself to ever actually let anyone do anything to her. And the thought of her being up on one of the tables in anatomy lab :shudder:
  11. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc

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    Yeah, isn't that weird? I'd be more likely to donate my own body or organs than my dogs'. The interesting thing about the book Stiff by Mary Roach is that most cadavers go to medical students, but many don't! You could sit and decompose outside at the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee instead. Erm, I guess it's a better view? :D
  12. RazorDoc2010

    RazorDoc2010 Mizzou 2011

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    The STL exhibit doesn't have the horse and rider display, but they do have a Arabian camel and baby (anyone know what a baby camel is called? a colt?)

    And in my search for the name of a baby camel, I came across this gem for those interested:

    A camel's RBC are oval-shaped to facilitate their flow in a dehydrated state. They are more stable to withstand high osmotic variations without rupturing when drinking large amounts of water. (Courtesy of wikipedia, so take it for what it's worth...)
  13. Slothbear

    Slothbear

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    I think all baby camelids are called "kria" (kree - ah). Kind of a funny name..
  14. RazorDoc2010

    RazorDoc2010 Mizzou 2011

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    Interesting...Thanks!

    That "colt" comment came from one article saying they used to be called that back in the day (the day meaning the Middle Ages or something)
  15. PAThbrd

    PAThbrd LA Surgery Resident Moderator Emeritus

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    they taught us that in school so I hope its true!
  16. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc

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    Yup, baby llamas and alpacas are called cria too. They are too cute. :D
  17. WhtsThFrequency

    WhtsThFrequency walk like a monkey, kick like a mule

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    I have done a few llama CBCs in my ClinPath job...yep, they look like little footballs - it is very neat!!!
  18. SuperC

    SuperC SuperC DMD

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    I know it sounds silly, but I plan on donating my body to science, however I would not donate my dog. I have no explination for that, its just the way I feel.
    -C
  19. krodriguez

    krodriguez Tufts class of 2012!

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    I totally agree. I read "Stiff" too and it really made me want to donate my body to science. However now that my kitty is nearing the end of her life I just can't bring myself to donate her. I know it would help vet students like I hope to be one day, but I just can't imagine her getting dissected. I think it is because if I die and donate myself to science I won't know what's happening to me since I'm dead and all:). But if she dies I will be the one left wondering what is happening to her. I guess it would be the same for my family if I donated myself, I don't think they would like that so much. Has any student vet or med ever come across someone/some animal they knew when in lab. That would be a scary shock. I mean I don't think I'd be disturbed to be there if I asked for a necropsy, but I'd be horrified if I went to class and there she was. I think it's would be the element of surprise that would get me in that situation.

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