An altar in honor of the anatomical gift
SourceAnatomical Sciences Education, 3, 6, (2010), pp. 323-325
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
Anatomical Sciences Education
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
On All Saints Day 2009 a monument for body donors was unveiled by the Department of Anatomy, at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (RUNMC). Although body donation to medical science contributes substantially to the quality of medical education, the ceremony was only the first time that the RUNMC publicly reciprocated the anatomical gift. By means of the monument the department of Anatomy endeavors to express gratitude for the gift of body donors and raise awareness among students to value the gift and treat donor bodies with the proper respect. Furthermore, the large attendance of bereaved at the unveiling ceremony, revealed another equally important meaning of the monument, which is the significance of the monument to the donor kin. The wish of a body donor has large implications for the way bereaved can take leave of the donor; there is limited time to bade the deceased farewell, the body will not be available for a funeral, and the donor kin stay behind empty handed without even a grave or ashes. Therefore the monument can be meaningful by facilitating the bereaved with a place of commemoration. The design of the monument anticipates on these multiple meanings and symbolisms by placing an old marble dissection table in the shape of an altar and fixing a bronze sculpture of a phoenix as symbol of imperishableness.
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