Private medical colleges in cadaver crisis
Medical colleges, particularly private colleges, are facing a tough time in conducting anatomy classes for want of dead bodies. With few donors coming forward to give bodies medical purposes and unavailability of unclaimed bodies, the managements of private medical colleges are procuring bodies paying thousands of rupees.
Visakhapatnam: Medical colleges, particularly private colleges, are facing a tough time in conducting anatomy classes for want of dead bodies. With few donors coming forward to give bodies medical purposes and unavailability of unclaimed bodies, the managements of private medical colleges are procuring bodies paying thousands of rupees.
- Some colleges are procuring bodies up to Rs 25,000 for conducting anatomy classes
- As an alternative, simulators or digital bodies are being used for the purpose, which does not give real hands on experience for students
- Most of the bodies donated by individuals go to government colleges
As some private colleges are offering Rs 25,000 and more for a body, some people are engaged in procurement of body business and are searching for them on railway tracks and other places.
Sources said that sometimes, the Railway Protection Forces (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP), when they find bodies on tracks are informing the rag pickers to take them and sell to the medical colleges. In order to avoid investigation about the unidentified bodies, some RPF and GRP personnel are calling these body sellers to lift such bodies.
According to Medical Council of India regulations, at least 15 bodies are needed per year for each college to conduct anatomy classes. There are 30 medical colleges in the state with an intake of 150 students every year. According to sources, some medical colleges are conducting anatomy classes with simulators and digital bodies. But, professors are saying that such practices do not provide students with a real experience.
“Due to the shortage of bodies, the managements have been insisting that professors manage the class with one body for about three months. After a new body comes, only then the used body the old one is disposed of. When some students are attending classes on subject of hands, others focus on other parts of the body. However, once a batch used the body, it would be immediately frozen for the next batch classes,” a medico in a private college told The Hans India.
Though some people sign declarations to donate their bodies for medical purposes, more than 90 per cent of such donations are committed to government colleges. There is a good number of unclaimed bodies available in the government general hospitals. After completion of the formalities, the hospital authorities are handing over the bodies to medical colleges.
“There is a shortage of bodies for anatomy classes, but mostly in private colleges. All the government-run medical colleges are getting adequate bodies for anatomy classes. Sometimes, we are also sending the unclaimed bodies to the private colleges. The anatomy classes with simulators and digital bodies are not a good practice.
The student would not get a real experience. The students should touch the body in the class, only then they will become a real doctor. Simulators and digital bodies are useful in other classes like orthopaedic but strictly not for anatomy classes,” said P V Sudhakar, Principal of Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam.
On condition of anonymity, correspondent of a private college admitted that majority of the colleges have been facing tough time in getting the bodies for teaching purposes. “In all communities, there are strict traditions and rituals against disturbing the body. Only on very rare occasions, some people give declaration donating their bodies for medical classes. Yes, sometimes we are procuring the bodies at high price as there is no alternative,” the correspondent told The Hans India.