COVID-19 impact?: City Medical Colleges say no to ‘pledged bodies’
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COVID-19 impact?: City Medical Colleges say no to ‘pledged bodies’

March 17, 2021
  • Request families to perform last rites
  • MMC&RI has 80 embalmed bodies; JSS Medical College has 100

Mysore/Mysuru: With sufficient bodies to carryout medical research for next six years, two empanelled institutions for cadaver donation — Mysore Medical College & Research Institute (MMC&RI) and JSS Medical College — in city are not accepting pledged bodies and are requesting family members to perform last rites of their dear departed ones since last one year. This has disappointed the family members who were unable to donate the bodies of their near and dear ones despite pledging their bodies for medical research after death. 

The State Government had issued an order against receiving pledged bodies last year when COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak. The standard procedure, after receiving the pledged bodies, was to embalm with chemicals and preserve it for medical research purposes. 

The Government opined that the staff of the Department of Anatomy may contract the virus during embalming of bodies. Hence, it advised institutions concerned against receiving those bodies till further orders. Accordingly, MMC&RI and JSS have stopped receiving the pledged bodies since last one year.

Dr. K.R. Dakshayini, Principal, MMC&RI and Head, Department of Anatomy, told SOM that the Institute has a stock of 31 unregistered dead bodies and 49 registered bodies for medical research purposes. It was sufficient for the next six years. The Department regularly receives calls from family members regarding donating pledged bodies but they were  convinced to perform last rites in view of the Government’s order as well as the available bodies.

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“We understand the sentiments of family members of body donors but we cannot do anything. However, we are not discouraging people from registration for cadaver donation. Since Nov.20, 2020, 941 persons have registered names for body donation of which 507 are male and 431 female. Among them, 114 are couples,” she added.

Dr. N.M. Shyam Sundar, Head, Department of Anatomy, JSS Medical College, said as many as 35 pledged bodies from Mysuru, Bengaluru, Kodagu, Kollegal and Chamarajanagar, were rejected in last one year due to problems in embalming. 

“We have a stock of 100 bodies in our Medical College which are sufficient for research purposes in the coming six years. There is no bar on fresh registration for body donation from people. As many as 445 have registered names for cadaver donation in our institution,” Dr. Shyam Sundar added.

“Our appeal to citizens is don’t bring bodies of registered body donors. Please perform last rites of your near and dear ones without asking Medical institutions to receive the bodies,” he noted.

What is cadaver donation? 

Body donation, also called ‘Deh Dan,’ is the donation of the whole body after death for the purpose of medical research and education. Cadaver donation is important for helping medical students and researchers to understand the human body, and for the advancement of science. 

Any person wishing to donate their body can make prior arrangements with the local Medical College, Hospital, or an NGO, before death. Individuals may request a consent form from a Medical institution or an NGO, who will then give information about policies and procedures followed after the potential donor is deceased. However, signing a prior consent form is not compulsory but is preferable so that your family is aware of your decision and the role they need to play in fulfilling your wish.

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