The Royal College of Surgeons have expressed concern about the paucity of donor bodies, which is a setback to medical teaching. Nearly 1000 bodies are required annually to teach anatomy to medical students.
In the present academic year, the college has already predicted a 30% shortage in the number of bodies.
The Chief Medical Officer has urged doctors to encourage their patients to donate their bodies for the cause of medical research. Anatomy classes are incomplete without practical lessons on the human body.
Donor consent cards are carried by many, yet few are aware of the procedures required to donate their bodies to medical schools. The crisis escalates when donated bodies are found unsuitable for study due to effects of surgeries or hospital infections that manifest when people live a ripe age.
Explaining the importance of human cadavers in medical teaching,Dick Rainsbury, the RCS director of education, said: "The college currently receives about 60 cadavers a year. They are hugely important to us in the teaching of anatomy. Visual demonstration is not enough. If the UK is to produce high-quality surgeons, the teaching of anatomy has to be of the highest standard."