What is corpse research

Body donation

Body donation is an alternative to classic burial. In this case, the body of the deceased is made available to science. These donations are needed in medical education and training as well as in research.

What are the benefits of donating your body?

The body donation serves to improve the teaching and anatomical knowledge of doctors. Students and doctors can practice new surgical techniques on a corpse, reducing the risk of a real surgical procedure. The advantage of a body donation is the realistic training. In addition, the donations made it possible to develop new surgical techniques and instruments that are gentler on the patient. "All of these experiences that are gained during the anatomical dissection help the doctor to save the life of another patient," says Dr. med. Schuster, founder of CENOSURA gem. GmbH.

How do you become a body donor?

In order to make his body available to science after death, contact must be made with the anatomical institute of a university clinic while he is still alive. “Every adult who wants to donate his or her body has to fill out a declaration of intent - a legacy - and sign it by hand. In the declaration of intent, the donor bequeaths his body to the Institute for Functional and Applied Anatomy ”, says Prof. Dr. Dr. Schmiedl from the Hannover Medical School. The donor can withdraw from this disposition at any time without giving reasons.

What are the requirements for a body donation?

“The prerequisite for accepting a body donation is that the anatomy does not deviate too much from normal. Serious illnesses and operations, but also being very overweight, can therefore lead to a refusal of the donation. As well as highly infectious and reportable diseases ”, says Dr. Schomerus, Head of Prosektur at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. He also said in the interview that body donors should generally have a "minimum age" of 50 years. If the body is taken over by the Anatomical Institute of the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, the funeral costs will be paid in return. If accepted by the Hannover Medical School, the donor undertakes to bear the costs of the transfer, cremation and burial. In some anatomical institutes, a financial contribution of varying amounts is now being requested from the body donors. The respective anatomical institutes will be happy to provide information on the details. Anyone who decides to donate their bodies during their lifetime should note that for organizational and preparative reasons, about one to three years can pass between death and burial. It is a good idea to discuss this aspect with the family as well.

Why can't every body donation be accepted?

Institutes that accept body donations have limited capacities and options. Frequently, inquiries from willing donors are only processed within a certain radius and in a certain number per year. The most important reason for these restrictions is that only a limited number of body donations are required for anatomical education and training, emphasizes Dr. Schomerus. "When processing and accepting body donation requests, moderation must be maintained so that donations do not have to be rejected one day because our needs are exceeded."
In the Anatomical Institute of the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, around 60 body donations per year are currently used for training and further education. About 30 body donors are made available for the course in macroscopic anatomy for human medicine with about 270 students at the Medical University in Hanover. In addition, 10 body donations are required for dentistry, according to Prof. Dr. Dr. Schmiedl from the Medical University in Hanover.

What is the purpose of CENOSURA gem. GmbH?

Dr. med. Schuster, founder of CENOSURA gem. GmbH, has set himself the task of making more body donations available, especially for advanced training, so that work with new equipment, surgical techniques and instruments can be better trained. Practical exercises are currently being carried out on unrealistic preparations. To counteract this, Dr. med. Schuster founded the non-profit body donation center CENOSURA gem. GmbH. This non-profit organization accepts body donations that have been declined due to cost or capacity reasons.

How does CENOSURA gem. GmbH work?

Anyone who decides to donate their bodies must make a decision during their lifetime and pay a so-called reimbursement of expenses and a processing fee. The reimbursement of expenses will be kept in a trust account and will only be credited to CENOSURA gem. GmbH in the event of death. Within two years, the body is buried in a cemetery.

How does a body donation work at CENOSURA gem. GmbH?

At CENOSURA gem. GmbH, body donations are frozen, unlike at anatomical institutes. The body donation is transferred in cooperation with funeral directors. According to Dr. med. Schuster advanced countless priorities in research. "These include spinal surgery, plastic surgery, minimally invasive surgical techniques, foot surgery or the current experiences of success in the transplantation of nerve cells."

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