As per her dying wish, the body of Darshana Arora, who died earlier this week, was donated to AIIMS for medical research.
Her family contacted Dadhichi Deh Daan Samiti, an NGO in Delhi with whom Arora had registered for body donation. According to her son Umesh Arora, "My mother was deeply moved by my wife's belief in organ and body donation. My family is very traditional, so this is a very bold step for us. My mother pledged her body through Dadhichi Deh Daan Samiti, an NGO, which works in the area of body/organ donations."
"Police recovered the body from our house after neighbours alerted them that the doorbell went unanswered for a long time. My husband and I were out of town and rushed back on hearing about the incident. We also had given permission to retrieve her cornea. We donated the body as it was her wish despite facing severe pressure from relatives to cremate the body," said Angshu Arora, her daughter-in-law.
Post-mortem was not performed after the police confirmed with the doctors that the death was natural, as hospitals do not receive bodies for research purposes when a post-mortem is conducted.
The NGO has facilitated 100 cadaver donations for research purpose in Delhi with this donation. Medical colleges face shortage of cadavers and borrow them at times though AIIMS receives at least 20 such cadavers per year for training students.
"In some medical colleges in Delhi, around 20 students are found being trained on one cadaver. Even though we can facilitate body donation, relatives of the deceased often put AIIMS as the first preference where they want to donate the bodies," said Dr. T.S. Roy, Head of the Department, AIIMS. "In some states, there are centralised systems through which equal distribution of bodies across medical colleges is achieved."
Medical colleges host several body donation programs to raise awareness on the issue.