Webster dictionary defines a cadaver as “a dead body, especially a human body to be dissected; a corpse. The definition is simple, but the uses and functions Of a cadaver in today’s world are far from simple. Today a human cadaver is utilized in so many specialized, complex ways that go way beyond common misconceptions that cadavers can only be used for simple things and are so beneficial to individuals, society and the world as a whole. I had never really known too much about cadavers until after I went to one of my dad’s surgeries with him.
He needed to get some tendons or ligaments in his wrist removed and replaced. Was always interested in the medical field ND so was curious and asked a lot of questions. One of the questions was where would the doctors get the tendons they needed to replace for their patients? This was how I really got interested in cadavers. One interesting way a cadaver may be used is in live surgeries today, for even the simplest things like replacing a tendon or repairing broken cartilage. Did you know that the first known dissections were only ever done on criminals?
During the 1 8th and 1 9th centuries, many Christians believed that the souls of body that were dissected would not be able to make it into heaven; so many people at his time did not offer their body to science in fear of not being able to make it into heaven. Criminals who were sent to be executed for their crimes were allowed to be used for dissection because the people believed that their souls would not make it to heaven anyways because of the bad deeds they did in their life. But then, the decrease in criminal execution called for a greater demand of cadavers, so something had to change.
This is when “body snatching” became common. “Body snatching” is when people steal bodies or parts of bodies from gravesite. With doctors and professors recognizing the deed for actual bodies to be studied, people would actually illegally pay other people to rob bodies from graves. But this was not moral or right, so in 1 832, The Anatomy Act was passed, which sought to set guidelines for uses of cadavers and mandated that permission was needed from the deceased and/ or their families before their body was to be donated to science.
We have come a long way from that today, as it is a lot more commonplace for people to become organ donors and to donate their bodies in the name of science. Today people don’t even think twice about cadavers being used and it is ideally accepted, but at the same time they don’t really realize how complex and useful a human cadaver can be, because the uses of cadavers in today’s world are actually really fascinating. For example, certain cadavers may be used in car crash tests to test safety features of cars.
Researchers say that dummies can be used but really nothing else can accurately duplicate the results of how a body would react in a car quite like an actual body. In an article in Slate magazine, Brian Palmer tells of some ways the military used cadavers: “In 1999, researchers suspended corpses in full battle uniform above simulated minefields to find out which footwear would be best for minesweepers. An Army doctor in 2002 wrapped corpses in new bulletproof vests and fired at them with an air cannon, which uses compressed air to fire bullets” Some others ways you might not have thought that cadavers could be used are in space travel.
Cadavers rode in the early Space Shuttle to see if humans would be suited for space travel. Plastic surgery students use cadavers to perform facilitates and other procedures like nose jobs. Your body could be used in a museum, like The National Museum Of Science. Your body could also be used for forensic scientists and detectives to study causes of death, autopsies, effects of decay on the body, or even be used by doctors and surgeons to help them practice and refine their skills.
If you are an organ donor though, not only may your body be used as a tool for living people to run tests, practice medical procedures, etc. But your dead body could assist a living body in other ways, like, well living. A kidney transplant can save a life and eliminate the need for dialysis which can take from 12 to 15 hours a week. A pancreas transplant could mean that a diabetic patient can stop insulin injections. An intestine transplant allows a person who was being fed intravenously to eat again.
Cornea transplants can restore lost sight in a patient that was formerly blind. Bone transplants may replace bones threatened by cancer in many patients. Donated skin allows for a temporary covering and protection from pain and infection in those suffering from severe burns. The Colby Foundation shares stories of people whose lives have been impacted by organ donation, like 22 year old Broaden, whose arenas were warned that there was slim chance of him receiving a heart for a heart transplant after being on the waits for many years.
When Broaden finally did receive his new heart, Laura, Brander’s mother, recalls that “she could not believe the immediate change in Broaden, “it was beautiful to see how red his lips and finger tips were after the transplant, all because of one family’s choice to make the unselfish decision to donate their son’s organs. ” The uses for cadavers could go on and on, which is why you may ask, why would anyone be against donating their body? Many people say that because Of religious reasons they won’t or don’t believe in donating their body to science. Others feel that it is not the right decision for them.
However I think facts like: “Nineteen people die every day waiting for an organ such as a kidney, heart, lung, liver or pancreas. ” and “In the U. S. Alone, an estimated two million products are derived from human tissue are sold and used each year, a figure that has doubled over the past decade. ” provide a lot of reason to consider becoming an organ donor. Although there is no guarantee that our body will in fact be used for organ donation since there are so many other ways a human body can be utilized, there are no requirements to become an organ donor, meaning everyone can and should do it.
No one body is invaluable; as there is an extremely wide variety of ways to use cadavers and an abundance of advantages to being an organ donor. Not only are stories like Brander’s touching and powerful, but they also show us the true value and impact organ donation can be to an individual and their family. To quote the Colby Foundation again, an average of about 18 people die very day who have been on a waits in hopes of receiving some sort of organ, whether it be a heart, lung, liver, pancreas or kidney donation.
One person can also save a potential of 8 more lives after he/she has been an organ donor. Not only can organ donation and cadavers help families and individuals in need, but there are an infinite amount of Ways cadavers and organ donation can help the world today. From space travel to military preparation, cadavers have a wide variety of uses that no one would really expect, uses that are actually integral pieces to the world today. I mean look at students studying to become surgeons. How comfortable would you be allowing a surgeon to operate on you if he/she had no formal practice?
Cadavers and organ donation have a key role in society and they are truly underrepresented tool that only serves to improve the world we live in. Work Cited page “The Colby Foundation. ” Myths & Facts. N. P. , n. D. Web. 08 DCE. 2014. The Colby Foundation is a website created by the family of a boy named Colby, whose life was positively impacted by organ donation. The website seeks to eve facts about organ donation and inspire, through sharing stories, others to become organ donors. I used the information from this site to talk about Brander’s story and add real life examples.