Helping hands, legs, etc needed

March 31, 2006

Parents have long been involved in their offspring's university education.

But how many would donate their bodies for the sake of the advancement of knowledge? writes Anna Fazackerley.

Roy Lloyd is one of a shrinking number of people to offer their bodies for dissection by medical students after their death. His body was heading for Leeds Medical School, but he now wants to send it to Leicester, where his daughter Kirsty is studying medicine.

Mr Lloyd, who has multiple sclerosis, said: "Initially my sole motivation was financial. I didn't want my daughters to have the expense of having to bury me. Since then, I've found out there is a shortage of cadavers, so it has become an ethical issue."

According to government figures, the number of whole-body donations in England and Wales has dropped from 670 to 600 over the past five years while medical student numbers have grown and 15 new postgraduate anatomy departments have opened.

At a British Medical Association student conference this weekend, calls will be made for a campaign to recruit organ and whole-body donors. Kirsty Lloyd, chair of the BMA student committee, said: "Anatomy is an incredibly fundamental part of our training."

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