Cadaver refers to the dead human body being used for medical research purposes. According to the diversity in the human society cadavers have been treated in a wide variety of ways depending on the respectful handling and disposal attached to the dead bodies.
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Uses of Cadavers
In the medical field, cadavers are utilized for various purposes; they may be used for education purposes through dissection or used for cadaveric donation. Dissection simply refers to part of the medical training program aimed at giving the students a hand on view of the body while getting used to the process of death. Initially, it was very difficult getting cadavers for the purpose of dissection as the practice was opposed by many people. However, the modern medical schools have been lucky to get several numbers of donors who understand the value of scientific dissection towards development of medical science (Benjamin 52).
Many of the fears in the past about dissection was about the way the dead bodies were abused and treated with disrespect. This is different with the modern medical practice where the bodies are no longer mistreated or stigmatized, and instead, the practitioners develop respectful and passionate relationships with the cadavers they handle. Thus modern dissection is utilizing the cadavers preserved in safety ensuring the environment focusses strictly on learning.
Other types of medical research can be done using a cadaver part from dissection. New procedures and skills have been developed using the cadavers. Harvesting of tissues is also carried out on cadavers as they can be implanted into living individuals. This is so because it is not achievable to get an organ from a cadaver but just extraction of some skin, bone and tissue grafts. Parts of the eye may also be donated from the cadaver. This kind of donation is only carried out after the family members agree to the request (Roach 105-110).
By one donating their dead bodies to the medical schools simply means that the doctors will be in an a good position to practice their skills and better them. For instance, even qualified doctors continue brushing up their skills and come up with new techniques by using the cadavers as witnessed in Memphis, Tennessee at the Medical Education and Research institute in America. It is much better for doctors to practice and probably make some mistakes using the cadavers than living human beings. The process of transporting the dead body is enabled by the Medical school and even the remains returned to the family members after cremation (Jones 85-90).
A crash test cadaver is also another way a cadaver is utilized. Here, the bodies are used to determine the impact of a car crash on human beings. Bearing in mind that no living human being might be willing to take that risk, therefore, the use of cadavers comes in handy to ascertain what happens eventually after a serious crash. The results are vital to motor vehicle manufacturing companies as they will attempt to fabricate some body armor and even protective equipments for the same.
Another use of the cadaver is by becoming a skeleton. In this case, the body remains exposed in the form of a skeleton for research purposes. However, these skeletons are not put on display for everyone to see, but just for a selected few with research intentions. They are mostly found in Human Osteology Laboratories. An example of this is the world wide known Maxwell Museum of Anthropology located at the University of New Mexico (Roach 105-110).
Cadavers are used by astronauts as body tours. The bodies undergo plastination where they are hardened, and in the process, they pose like they have got life in them. The process entails removing of fat and water, then inserting rubber and silicon while in a frozen posture. This is then put in rockets and send to the outer space with special gadgets to gather and collect information for analysis by the scientists. Alternatively, one can decide to give his body to a body broker, of course at a fee. The body broker will then take the parts and then get them to scientists who will utilize them for research training and education (Albert 20-30).
Donation of organs such as the kidney, lung, liver, pancreas and even the heart is possible as long as the right procedures are adhered to. It only applies when one has clearly stated his or her wishes to the family members and even written down a will pertaining to this. This is important in medicine because according to statistics, about nineteen people die on a daily for lack of a spare organ for replacement.
The military also employs the use of cadavers a great deal. For example, they occasionally use these cadavers to test their safety equipment for their soldiers. During the year 1999, the researchers used suspended corpses in full battle uniforms above and simulated the minefields to determine the footwear that would suit the minesweepers. Another incident is where the army doctor wanted to test the bullet-proof vests, he fired at them using an air canon with compressed fire bullets. He determined some fractures from the impact, but the skin was not damaged.
Still in the military circles, the National Institute of Justice has tasked the university researchers to test non-lethal weapons like rubber bullets using cadavers (Jones 85-90).
In the Forensic anthropology center of the Tennessee university, commonly referred to as the body farm, there are cadavers under keen observation by the anthropologist as they decompose. Through research, they have been able to establish the time of death by measuring the cadavers’ bloatedness.