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Body Donor Memorial set for Nov. 10

Augusta University students will honor 103 individuals who have donated their body to health sciences education at the annual Body Donor Memorial Service at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, in the Natalie and Lansing B. Lee Jr. Auditorium.

The ceremony will include student and faculty perspectives on donors’ impact on education and musical selections performed by students. Attendees can then visit the cinerarium on campus, where donor ashes can be interred.

“Students will always remember their cadaver as their first patient,” says David Adams, coordinator of Anatomical Donation Services in the Medical College of Georgia Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy. “And what the donors teach students is better than any textbook, any lecture or any video they can watch. The students have a tremendous respect for that.”

Donors are needed for medical, dental and allied health sciences education. Students begin their dissection experience with a blessing of thanksgiving by an AU chaplain and complete the course with another prayer and by cleaning the cadavers, often placing thank-you notes in the body bags, Adams said.

The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act requires donors to be at least 18, but there is no upper age limit. Infectious disease can preclude donation, as can serious trauma with multiple organ damage. However, donors who’ve had common surgeries such as hysterectomies or hip replacements are welcomed.

The medical school’s Anatomical Donation Program provides transportation to AU, embalming and cremation. Ashes can be returned to the family or interred in the cinerarium. For more information about body donation, contact Adams at 706-721-3731 or dadams@augusta.edu or visit the anatomical donation program page.

About the author

Jennifer Hilliard Scott

Jennifer Hilliard Scott is Senior Communications Coordinator at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-8604 or jscott1@augusta.edu.