General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

What, if anything, can be done to address the cadaver shortage hitting medical schools?

Asked by elbanditoroso (30460points) May 30th, 2021
32 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

among other articles

and this

Among other shortages that resulted from COVID-19, usable cadavers are in short supply. As a result, several years of medical school students will get inadequate training.

What can be done to address this, for future medical care consumers?

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Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

One trick in government is to have organ donation/for science donation standard default in birth certificates. Where one needs to opt out consent instead of having to opt in.
Also computer simulation is improving for dissection of animals. Maybe it can be used for medical school?

Maybe have a lottery for those who are registered to donate? Similar to the vaccination lottery in the state’s?

JLoon's avatar

If they want me they need to get in line.

But besides that, there could be a solution using fully anatomical dummies with AI enhancements.

Maybe a business opportunity too…

ragingloli's avatar

They could just import dead Palestinians.

kritiper's avatar

Allow the general public to carry guns.

robbie2499's avatar

This never even occurred to me! Why are so many cadavers unusable, covid aside?

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t understand well what the article is saying. Is it a decrease in donations or the medical schools stopped taking cadavers because of covid19.

I think in the United States if they want to increase donation they should be willing to share findings with the family, even if it’s not a formal autopsy done by an ME. Maybe still allow a wake or some sort of service before the body is taken and be willing to return the body or ashes to the family. I know at least some places do return the ashes.

sorry's avatar

Medical schools will have to pay more for whole cadavers for their first year med students to dissect. The companies that procure the cadavers will have to market themselves more in hospices and elder care facilities. Supply and demand. The students are already 6 to a table in most schools I know of.

@JLeslie Many have families and are fulfilling the wishes of the deceased and of COURSE they’ve had memorials or wakes or what-have-you for them. Donating their body doesn’t circumvent the families need to have a funeral of some sort. They aren’t autopsies they performing on the cadavers. They are only sometimes used for dissection. Some are used by first year medical students in gross anatomy classes and other medical research might only be looking for certain organs. They dissect them, bit by bit. First year med students aren’t in ANY way qualified to perform autopsies and the body isn’t necessarily going to be dissected whole or dissected at all. lolz. At some point, the med students will be told the cause of death about their whole cadavers, but that is all they will be told about them. They’ll discover traces of its illness as the dissection goes on, but generally nothing that wouldn’t already be known to the family. Implants, bipass surgeries, shunts, lungs damaged by smoking, perhaps cancers…. but the bodies are embalmed and the class lasts the term. Many services track the body and it can be cremated and returned to the family. Also, don’t forget the bodies that are donated that end up in body farms. https://www.vox.com/2014/10/28/7078151/body-farm-texas-freeman-ranch-decay

For a bit of light death infortainment, can I suggest a very good YouTube channel called, ‘Ask a Mortician’. One of her very early videos, she discusses the history and such of cadavers for science. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckLgEunrejA

JLeslie's avatar

@sorry My aunt was donated to the hospital and we were not allowed to know any of their findings and they kept her body for two years and then gave us her ashes at the end. It would have been nice to know if he she had the cancer they said she had, I don’t believe she did. It was not for a law suit or anything like that, she wanted to die, I just would have liked to know for me and for her.

I know they are not doing autopsies, but if someone has a specific question about their loved one and it can be answered for free if you donate the body, that would probably get more donations. It might not be cause of death, but simply a pain they always had or some other health matter.

We did not have any service for my aunt, I don’t know if we possibly could have with her body present? I am fine that we did not have a service for her. This was a few years ago.

I know my great uncle donated his body to science (50 years ago) and my grandmother was very upset there was no body to bury.

It probably depends what organization is getting the body.

sorry's avatar

@JLeslie Do you know the penalty for falsifying a death certificate? Accusing doctors of falsifying the cause of death is a VERY serious thing. OMFG: Also: As a distant relative not in charge of executing the will and wishes of the deceased, you can basically suck eggs. That goes for nieces and grandmothers. It’s up to who ever is empowered to fulfil the wishes of the deceased.

JLeslie's avatar

@sorry I am not accusing anyone of falsifying anything. You misunderstand me. She died because she was given drugs in hospice. I have no idea her cause of death listed, it doesn’t matter.

Edit: for some people it might be their spouse had digestive problems for 20 years, and they find fibroids pressing on their wife’s colon. It doesn’t have to be related to the death.

sorry's avatar

yeah, I think I’m getting used to you replying me with knee jerk reactions without reading.

JLeslie's avatar

@sorry I’m not reading your link. I am not upset about the morphine. You don’t get it. She wanted to die. She was already addicted to morphine, fentanyl, and bensos for many years because of pain from unrelated problems.

I’m not responding anymore. Topic is too upsetting right now. If you can’t understand that medical problems are sometimes left unanswered for many reasons during someone’s life then I’m very happy for you that everyone is either healthy in your family or has all medical ailments easily answered.

My aunt did not agree to have a biopsy to confirm their diagnosis, but the diagnosis gave the doctors the ability to send her to hospice, she wanted to die.

sorry's avatar

@JLeslie That is called autonomy and agency over oneself. As hard as that is to accept, you need to understand that a person’s choice over their health and life is theirs and theirs alone. You need to accept that you probably didn’t know the whole story or her medical issues. Doctors don’t just dose a patient to death, as much as you’d like to believe.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh My God. I am totally fine with her decision. I agreed with her not to do the biopsy. I know her medical situation. My sister is a nurse and helped with her care for years, we both had complete POA. My sister worked at the hospital that made the diagnosis. Please stop. You are completely missing it. You are making completely inaccurate assumptions and not listening.

Maybe you are idealistic about medical care, I don’t know what your angle is. People live with medical problems all the time that don’t get diagnosed or are diagnosed incorrectly or given bullshit diagnosis just to make the patient feel like they have a diagnosis. Sometimes when you open a person up you see things not able to be seen on xrays and ultrasounds.

I can’t help it that you don’t know about end of life situations. People get euthanized every day if they want to be.

I’m not bothered that my aunt was given drugs that killed her. You don’t get it.

sorry's avatar

@JLeslie THAT IS NOT WHAT YOU WROTE: You have some serious issues. Re read what you wrote. Please. in fact, re read it in front of someone you confide in daily. Make sure they have context.

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe you need to read what I wrote after everything here and think about it in a different way. Go back to my first two answers. Read slowly.

sorry's avatar

YOU wrote: My aunt was donated to the hospital and we were not allowed to know any of their findings and they kept her body for two years and then gave us her ashes at the end. It would have been nice to know if he she had the cancer they said she had, I don’t believe she did. that’s you accusing doctors of falsifying documents. …....Maybe still allow a wake or some sort of service before the body is taken. that is you claiming that the if a body is donated, it is denied funerial services, WHICH IT IS NOT. THEN You said: My aunt was donated to the hospital and we were not allowed to know any of their findings and they kept her body for two years and then gave us her ashes at the end. It would have been nice to know if he she had the cancer they said she had, I don’t believe she did. Which is accusing the doctors of falsifying the cause of death.

JLeslie's avatar

They did not falsely. They saw something on an X-ray and her pulse-ox was in the low 80’s upper 70’s, and they thought she probably had cancer, but she didn’t agree to do the biopsy.

sorry's avatar

yeah…. Imma gonna stop you there. You were not privy or owed the entire situation. You had NO idea of your aunts medical situation. You are not only a hypochondriac but you are a hypochondriac by proxy. And you create excess drama where it’s not warranted. I have colleagues who would be very interested in meeting you.

JLeslie's avatar

No drama. There wasn’t any drama.

How old are you anyway.

I was POA and could make medical decisions for her. You’re incredibly rude.

Hypochondriac because I doubt I have cancer when I’m told I might or doubt my aunt did when she was told more than once she had cancer? Or, my neighbor was told he probably had cancer and didn’t. Or, when I had level 10 chest pain but didn’t go to the emergency and I was annoyed about paying for an abdominal scan when I went to the doctor for it because I didn’t think it would show anything. Hypochondriacs believe they are always dying. You have it backwards. Im not a hypochondriac I’m just very aware that incorrect guesses and diagnosis are made all of the time.

sorry's avatar

@JLeslie… You guess at the causes of death and illnesses while not being a doctor. There is a word for that. Well done for writing proof of it.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m not guessing anything.

sorry's avatar

@JLeslie Your lack of self awareness is amazing. Again… I have colleagues that would like to meet you. YOU wrote: My aunt was donated to the hospital and we were not allowed to know any of their findings and they kept her body for two years and then gave us her ashes at the end. It would have been nice to know if he she had the cancer they said she had, I don’t believe she did. that’s you accusing doctors of falsifying documents. …....Maybe still allow a wake or some sort of service before the body is taken. that is you claiming that the if a body is donated, it is denied funerial services, WHICH IT IS NOT. THEN You said: My aunt was donated to the hospital and we were not allowed to know any of their findings and they kept her body for two years and then gave us her ashes at the end. It would have been nice to know if he she had the cancer they said she had, I don’t believe she did. Which is accusing the doctors of falsifying the cause of death.

JLeslie's avatar

@sorry You’re repeating yourself.

That’s great if people can have a service with the body first, we didn’t ask about that. We (including my aunt) were fully informed what the process would be with her body. There is nothing sinister. Why are you so worked up?

I already told you nothing was falsified. The doctors genuinely believed my aunt was at the end of her life.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Sufficient pre-Covid-19 donations exist for the next two years, based upon current usage.” From the first link in the details. So is there a shortage or not?

crazyguy's avatar

It is strange that with more people dying, medical schools have fewer cadavers. I am not a doctor, but Ms Google tells me that the risk of catching covid from a cadaver of somebody who died of covid is vanishingly small. Therefore, I imagine that the shortage off cadavers is connected to one of the unknowns about covid.

In any case, I agree with most posters here that there are better ways to learn anatomy than by dissecting a real cadaver. And it is about time that medical schools move on.

sorry's avatar

@crazyguy just because there are more people dying doesn’t mean there will be more people signing themselves over after death. Again, your correlation and causation measure is out of whack. In any case… I agree with most posters here that you’re really not well informed.

crazyguy's avatar

@sorry You, my friend, are so well-informed that it makes me cry about my obvious ignorance!

sorry's avatar

@crazyguy If you weren’t being facetious, I’d explain myself more, but as you have trouble being genuine, I’ll keep to myself.

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